Travis Wood is hoping to pick up where he left off last season.
Wood pitched four solid innings and Jay Bruce hit his first spring homer in the Cincinnati Reds' 6-3 loss to a Los Angeles Angels split-squad on Sunday.
Wood allowed two runs and two hits, struck out five and walked none. The left-hander is competing with Mike Leake and Homer Bailey for two open spots in the Reds rotation. Leake beat him out last spring, but Wood contributed to Cincinnati's NL Central title over the last part of the season.
"You wouldn't know that he only had two months in the big leagues," Manager Dusty Baker said. "He remains motivated and hungry. We're very pleased with him. He's throwing the ball as well as anybody."
Bruce, who agreed to a six-year, $51 million contract in the off-season, connected against prospect Garrett Richards in the first inning. He also singled against Kevin Jepson.
The Angels got to Reds reliever Jared Burton for four runs in the eighth inning. Angel Castillo hit a two-run double and Jeremy Moore had a run-scoring triple.
■ Reds lefty Dontrelle Willis had his right ankle wrapped but doesn't want to miss any time. "I rolled it before," Willis said. "I knew what happened as soon as I did it. I'll be all right."
Astros (ss) 3, Tigers (ss) 1: Former Lexington Legend J.R. Towles is trying to make Houston's choice on a starting catcher an easy one. Towles had three hits, including an RBI single and his second spring home run, to lead the Astros over Detroit in a matchup of split-squads.
Towles hopes to fill the void behind the plate created when Jason Castro injured his knee, likely ending his season.
"It's definitely a terrible thing that happened to (Castro) and you never wish bad luck on anybody; you just wish yourself good luck," said Towles, who is 7-for-20 this spring. "I'm just trying to make the most of it and hoping everything will take care of itself."
Twins (ss) 9, Yankees 2: Mariano Rivera struck out all three batters he faced in his first spring appearance for New York, which lost to a Minnesota spilt-squad. "What did he throw? 10 pitches?" Yankees captain Derek Jeter said. "He throws strikes. It doesn't surprise me." Alex Rodriguez hit a solo homer to center off Scott Baker in the second for the Yankees.
Tigers 9 (ss), Orioles 1: Miguel Cabrera is rounding into form after a rocky start this spring — on and off the field. Cabrera, arrested Feb. 16 on suspicion of driving under the influence and resisting an officer without violence, had three hits and two RBI to help Detroit beat Baltimore. Cabrera started the spring with a 4-for-23 slide, and is now batting .303.
Phillies 6, Twins (ss) 3: Joe Nathan, coming back from elbow-reconstruction surgery, gave up six runs while getting just one out in Minnesota's split-squad loss to Philadelphia. "Stuff like that happens," said Nathan, who had Tommy John surgery last March 26. "There are going to be some situations that I haven't seen in a while." Nathan had not given up a run or even a hit in four previous one-inning spring training outings.
Mets 13, Cardinals 3: Jaime Garcia, one of the majors' top rookies when he went 13-8 with a 2.70 ERA last season, allowed eight runs and nine hits over four innings in the loss for St. Louis. Scott Hairston homered twice and went 3-for-4 for the Mets, raising his spring average to .407.
Pirates 9, Red Sox 4: Josh Beckett failed to record an out in Pittsburgh's six-run fifth, and Boston lost to Pittsburgh. "It's a shame that a whole outing gets ruined by one inning, but that's kind of the case," said Beckett, who worked four-plus innings and allowed five runs on four hits.
Around the majors
Dodgers: Third baseman Casey Blake is expected to be sidelined for a few days because of an injury to a muscle near the back of his rib cage.
Indians: Grady Sizemore ran the bases for the first time in 10 months, the biggest step on the outfielder's road to recovery from microfracture surgery on his left knee. Manager Manny Acta is hopeful that Sizemore will be in the Indians' lineup in April.