GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Cleveland star catcher Carlos Santana made his first start at third base and got a hit. No chances to show off his glove, though.
Santana had a single in two at-bats, but didn’t get to handle the ball at his new position as the Indians beat the Cincinnati Reds 12-3 on Thursday with the help of three homers.
“Carlos is more comfortable out there than people give him credit for,” manager Terry Francona said. “We have some decisions to make. It is only the second game and we like (third baseman) Lonnie Chisenhall a lot.”
Catching prospect Jake Lowery hit a grand slam, and Elliot Johnson and Tyler Naquin added two-run homers.
Zack Cozart hit a two-run double for the Reds. Leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton singled in two at-bats.
Indians: Justin Masterson is working on an offspeed pitch and a new contract. He avoided arbitration by signing a $9.7 million contract, but is still negotiating with the Indians to extend his tenure beyond this season. He struck out two and gave up a hit while pitching a scoreless inning.
“I will probably still be here for another couple years,” he said. “You hire people to take care of that, so you can just pitch. There is nothing monumental happening right now. If something gets done, it will be before the season begins.”
Reds: Johnny Cueto worked two scoreless innings pain-free. He made just 11 starts for Cincinnati last season, hampered by strained muscles in his right side that lingered the entire season. Cueto has cut down on his turning motion during his delivery to try to prevent injury.
“I feel good,” said Cueto, who threw 45 pitches in his first outing. “Nothing is sore.”
Indians: Right-hander Matt Capps has been shut down for 14 days by Francona with a strained rotator cuff. … Righty Frank Herrmann had right elbow re-construction surgery last March. He is ready to throw live batting practice. … Infielder Jose Ramirez is taking batting practice after having surgery on his left thumb in December. … Righty Shaun Marcum is making progress during bullpen sessions as he recovers from shoulder surgery.
Reds: Second baseman Brandon Phillips had the nail on his thumb bent during Wednesday’s game. He was back in the lineup on Thursday after the training staff trimmed the nail. … Righty Mat Latos continues with pitchers’ drills. He had surgery to fix torn cartilage in his left knee on Feb. 14.
JUST TAKE THIRD
For the second straight game, Hamilton opened by getting on base. He singled off Masterson.
The crowd was anticipating a steal attempt from the man who set the professional record with 155 stolen bases in 2012. Instead, he went to third on an error.
IN THE MIX
Carlos Carrasco pitched two perfect innings with two strikeouts. The 26-year-old is competing for the fifth spot in the Indians rotation with Trevor Bauer, Aaron Harang and Shaun Marcum.
“Carrasco was real good,” Francona said. “He left pitches out over the plate to the first batter but made the adjustment.”