Jackson strong, but Rays lose lead
Non-roster invitee Pedroza drives in two; Navarro has two hits
REDS 8, RAYS 4
at Sarasota, Fla.
Saturday, March 29
Reds at the plate: Cincinnati broke through in the bottom of the fourth, when Edward Encarnacion's sacrifice fly scored Brandon Phillips. David Ross had a single and run scored, and Norris Hopper went 2-for-2. Javier Valentin had a three-run blast over the center-field fence to put the Reds on top, 5-4, in the bottom of the sixth. First baseman Scott Hatteberg went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.
Rays on the mound: Edwin Jackson, the Rays' No. 4 starter, made his final preseason start. Jackson is slated to make his regular-season debut in New York on Friday. The righty had a solid outing, allowing three hits and one run in four innings. Jackson also had two strikeouts and three walks. Lefty reliever Trever Miller tossed the fifth, and was charged with two hits and one run. Scott Munter was charged with five hits, including the three-run homer by Valentin. Lefty J.P. Howell retired three straight batters in the seventh.
Reds on the mound: Projected No. 3 starter Johnny Cueto, who surrendered five runs and three hits in two-thirds of an inning against Tampa Bay last Sunday, got the start in the Reds' Spring Training finale. The right-hander fared much better on Saturday. After putting the first two batters on, Cueto ended the first with three straight strikeouts. In four innings, the righty allowed two earned runs on five hits, fanning seven. Mike Lincoln, who is still competing for the Reds' final spot in the bullpen, retired all three batters he faced, striking out one. Todd Coffey allowed two hits and a run in the sixth.
Grapefruit League records: Rays 18-8-2; Reds 17-15-1
Up next for the Rays: With Saturday's conclusion of Spring Training, Tampa Bay will travel to Baltimore for Monday's season opener at Oriole Park at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m. ET. James Shields will get his first Major League Opening Day start, taking the mound opposite Orioles righty Jeremy Guthrie.
Up next for the Reds: Cincinnati will use Sunday to work out at home before hosting its sixth Opening Day game at Great American Ball Park on Monday at 2:10 p.m. ET. The Reds will open against the Diamondbacks for the first time, with righty Aaron Harang slated to make his third straight Opening Day start against Arizona ace Brandon Webb.
Brittany Ghiroli is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.