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Perez blows 3-run lead, Indians tie Reds 10-10

Associated Press

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey pitches in the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Saturday, April 3, 2010, in Goodyear, Ariz.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Chris Perez will start the season with a clean slate as the Cleveland Indians’ closer.

That will be a relief after the young right-hander couldn’t keep the Cincinnati Reds from erasing a three-run deficit Saturday, giving up three runs for a 10-10 tie.

“Spring training is over and from now we’ll evaluate Chris starting Monday in Chicago,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “We would have liked to see him finish up in a better way. He had some good outings, some bad ones.”

Perez is closing while veteran Kerry Wood rehabs a sore back. He went 1/3 with a 5.56 ERA and two saves in 12 spring outings.

Wood, out since March 14, did some light throwing Saturday, but is not expected to return until May. He is on the disabled list for the 13th time in his career.

The Indians may have lost starting second baseman Luis Valbuena, too. He left after being hit on the right hand by a pitch from Reds starter Homer Bailey. The Indians said that X-rays were negative and that Valbuena is day to day with a contusion on the hand.

Veterans Mark Grudzielanek and outfielder Austin Kearns were added to Cleveland’s roster after the game. Grudzielanek could replace Valbuena in the lineup against the White Sox on Monday.

Perez allowed a two-run homer to Dennis Phipps, walked a batter, then gave up a tying triple to Alex Buchholz.

“That kid Buchholz — that was the at-bat of the spring right there,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said after the minor leaguer fouled off several pitches before connecting. “You like to see a young kid come up and battle and battle. That was worth its weight in gold.

“Now it’s time to do the real thing.”

Mike Redmond drove in four runs and starter Justin Masterson struck out seven over five innings for Cleveland.

Bailey gave up six runs and six hits over six innings in his longest outing of the spring. He also singled home a run.

Bailey has spent parts of three seasons with the Reds, but will be on the opening-day roster for the first time.

“I have to pack up a lot of stuff, but to me it’s like the beginning of any other season,” the right-hander said.

“My spring was so-so. I saw a lot of positives. I saw a few negatives, but those will be ironed out.”

Reds right-hander Logan Ondrusek is a little more excited about going to the majors for the first time.

“It’s a dream come true,” he said. “When I found out I made the team yesterday, I called my parents. They both started yelling and screaming. I’m pretty sure my mom started crying.”

Minor league third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall, the Indians’ first-round draft pick in 2008, hit a two-run homer in the first inning.

Ryan Hanigan hit a three-run double in a five-run seventh inning that gave Cincinnati a 7-6 lead.

Luis Rodriguez’s two-run, broken-bat single put Cleveland ahead 8-7 in the eighth. Rodriguez was designated for assignment along with catcher Wyatt Toregas after the game.

Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto went 2-for-3 and had 13 hits in his final 18 at-bats to finish with a .351 spring average.

Game notes

Cincinnati first-base coach Billy Hatcher became a Reds player 20 years ago Saturday in a trade with Pittsburgh for INF Jeff Richardson and RHP Mike Roesler. Hatcher started in center field for the 1990 Reds’ wire-to-wire world champions. … Cleveland OF Grady Sizemore did not play, but reached base safely in 20 of his last 35 plate appearances with 13 hits and seven walks, finishing with a .381 average and 13 RBIs. He had surgery on his left elbow and abdomen in September.

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Indians 10, Reds 1010.0101

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