Heisey falls double shy of cycle in Reds' victory
Outfielder smacks go-ahead homer in preview of Opening Day
PHOENIX -- The Reds and Brewers put on an offensive display, combining for 17 runs on 23 hits Sunday in a preview of their Opening Day matchup. Chris Heisey made the difference when his third hit of the game left the park to lead off the eighth inning, giving the Reds a 9-8 victory.
The Reds took the early offensive, touching Brewers starter Chris Narveson for three runs on four hits in the second inning. Hot-hitting Minor Leaguer Dave Sappelt continued his tear with an RBI ground-rule double over the left-center-field wall and scored when Chris Heisey followed with a triple to the wall in dead center. Sappelt was 2-for-4 on the day, but his average sits at a scorching .531.
Naverson issued his second walk of the game to Todd Frazier to lead of the third, and Frazier eventually came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Zack Cozart. Narveson completed 4 1/3 innings, yielding seven earned runs on nine hits.
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Cincinnati Opening Day starter Edinson Volquez lost sight of the plate in the third inning, loading the bases on two hits and a walk and walking in two runs before skipper Dusty Baker went to the bullpen. Casey McGehee singled to center in the first at-bat against Justin Freeman to drive in two, and George Kottaras grounded to second to plate the go-ahead run. Volquez ended up allowing five runs on one hit and five walks in 2 1/3 innings.
"It goes to show you when you're facing a good offensive lineup, you want them to earn their way on with hits vs. walks," said Reds skipper Dusty Baker. "They can certainly put some runs up there in a hurry like they did today. That took no time to get those five up there."
Todd Frazier smacked the first pitch he saw from Narveson in the fourth inning onto the left-field berm for a three-run homer.
The seesaw scoring found the Crew reclaiming the lead when Kottaras launched his second Cactus League homer, drilling reliever Dontrelle Willis' pitch over the right field fence for a three-run shot.
"I actually really liked our offense today, because not all the time are we going to be able to just bash the ball," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "If they'll take their walks like we did today, we can score a lot of runs. I looked up at one time, four hits and eight runs, that's pretty good. So I really liked what we did offensively."
Willis pitched three innings for the Reds, retiring the first four batters he faced before yielding a walk and a single to set up the blast from Kottaras.
The Brewers' offense wasn't necessarily explosive, scoring their eight runs on six hits and 11 walks. Jeremy Reed gave the Brewers a chance to tie when he singled off Aroldis Chapman and stole both second and third base in the eighth, but he did not score.
"We played better than the game looked," Baker said. "We just had too many walks."
Up next for Reds: Reigning National League Most Valuable Player Joey Votto has hit in five of his past six games, going 7-for-16 (.438) over that span. Votto and the Reds host the Mariners at 4:05 p.m. ET on Monday at Goodyear Ballpark, live on Gameday Audio, as No. 2 starter Bronson Arroyo gets another tuneup. Arroyo has been bothered lately by the flu and was not feeling his best during his previous start. Jared Burton, Daniel Ray Hererra and Francisco Cordero are expected to come out of the bullpen. Cordero is riding a streak of four perfect one-inning appearances.
Up next for Brewers: Milwaukee continues its three-game homestand with a Monday matchup against the Rangers at 3:05 p.m. CT. Yovani Gallardo will toe the rubber for the Crew in his fifth Cactus League start. Gallardo is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA over 13 1/3 innings with 14 strikeouts and four walks, holding opposing hitters to a .200 average. Fans can listen to the game live with Gameday Audio.
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.