Cincinnati Reds

Reds' Phillips ends 0-for-14 with 2 hits

Brandon Phillips got his first two hits of spring training, including a two-run homer, and the Cincinnati Reds blew a four-run lead in the ninth on Sunday before settling for a 5-5 tie with the Chicago White Sox in Goodyear, Ariz.

The second baseman was 0-for-14 before he singled home Drew Stubbs. Phillips added a two-run homer off J.J. Putz in the seventh inning, putting the Reds ahead 5-1. Minor-leaguer Jordan Smith gave up four runs in the ninth, and the teams called it a tie.

Chicago starter John Danks struggled, giving up six hits, four walks and three runs — two earned — in 32?3 innings. Left-hander Matt Maloney, who is competing for the fifth spot in Cincinnati's rotation, gave up three hits in three scoreless innings.

Cardinals 7, Nationals 3: Stephen Strasburg pitched three scoreless innings but the Nationals fell to 0-10 in exhibition play.

Facing 30 mph gusts in Viera, Fla., the Nationals' top prospect accomplished something no other Washington starting pitcher has done in a dismal spring: turn in consecutive scoreless outings.

A crosswind whipped his fastball out of the strike zone and sent his change-up darting into something resembling a Mariano Rivera cutter. Strasburg just breezed through the winds like they weren't there.

"I told him anybody can be successful when they're feeling good, with good weather, a good situation," Washington catcher Wil Nieves said. "Good pitchers, they pitch good even if they don't feel good that day or if, (like) today, if the wind is like that."

Strasburg, the top overall pick in last year's draft, allowed two singles and a walk in his second spring start. The right-hander threw 29 of 49 pitches for strikes, stretching his scoreless streak to five innings.

Pirates 10, Yankees 5: CC Sabathia struggled while pitching into the fifth inning of his third spring start, giving up a home run to Aki Iwamura in New York's loss in Bradenton, Fla.

Sabathia threw first-pitch balls to 12 of his 17 batters and only 29 of his 57 pitches for strikes.

But here's what Manager Joe Girardi had to say about Sabathia's mechanics: "He was very sound today. He was good. He was really good today."

Astros 8, Braves 5: Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee hit back-to-back homers, and Brett Myers struck out six over four innings as Houston won in Kissimmee, Fla.

Mets 5, Marlins 1: Johan Santana resembled the pitcher on Sunday in Jupiter, Fla., that many call the premier left-hander in the game the last six years.

Santana pitched four scoreless innings against the Marlins, allowing three hits in his second spring training start since undergoing surgery on his left elbow in September.

"I was able to throw all my pitches. I was more consistent keeping the ball down and throwing the ball better than last time," Santana said. "The most important thing is I don't feel anything in my elbow."

Rockies 5, Mariners 4: Although shaky at times, Felix Hernandez was sharp when he needed to be in his spring debut.

The Seattle ace pitched out of early trouble, allowing four hits over 22?3 innings in the Mariners' 5-4 loss in Tucson, Ariz.

Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez turned in a stellar showing, too, allowing one hit in four innings.

This Mariners have been slowly bringing along Hernandez, who won 19 games last year and finished second in AL Cy Young Award voting. Before Sunday, Hernandez had thrown just two simulated games.

Blue Jays: General manager Alex Anthopoulos wouldn't deny he's interested in Cuban defector Adeinis Hechavarria, but he declined to comment on a published report that the team might be close to signing the shortstop for $10 million.

The New York Post reported Sunday the Jays were closing in on the talented 21-year-old prospect. "If there's a report that says we have an agreement, then we don't have any agreement," Anthopoulos said. Asked about the accuracy of the report, he replied: "I don't want to lie and I don't want to comment."

Royals: Outfielder Rick Ankiel will miss at least a week of spring training with a right ankle injury.

Orioles: Second baseman Brian Roberts is returning to Baltimore to see a specialist for an ailing back that has kept him out of games this spring.

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