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Bruce, Latos help lead Reds past Rangers

Bruce, Latos help lead Reds past Rangers

Bruce, Latos help lead Reds past Rangers
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds right-hander Mat Latos continued to have a strong spring, pitching his team to a 6-2 victory over the Rangers at Goodyear Ballpark on Thursday night. Rangers starter Scott Feldman also acquitted himself well in his long-shot bid to regain a spot in the rotation.

Latos lowered his spring ERA to 1.93 by holding the Rangers to one run over five innings. The only run was a leadoff home run by Julio Borbon in the first inning. Latos allowed four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out three. He retired the last seven batters he faced.

"Everybody looked good," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "Latos just hung that one curveball to Borbon. Other than that, he looked outstanding."

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Feldman went 4 1/3 innings and allowed just two runs. The Reds scored both in the first inning on three straight one-out doubles by Zack Cozart, Jay Bruce and Scott Rolen. He has a 4.50 ERA for the spring. This was his second start of the spring, but he is still likely to begin the season in the bullpen.

"Nobody has told me what role I have," said Feldman, who pitched in relief last season while recovering from knee surgery. "I can't control my role, I'm just trying to make a good impression on these guys. I want to start, but all I can do is keep a good attitude. All I know is, I have peace of mind I can get guys out on a consistent basis."

Feldman left with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth. Tanner Scheppers took over, striking out Todd Frazier and retiring Chris Heisey on a high chopper in front of the mound to keep the Reds from scoring. But then he gave up three runs in the sixth inning.

Dioner Navarro added a home run for the Reds in the seventh, his second of the spring. The Reds had seven doubles in the game, including two by Cozart and Devin Mesoraco.

Borbon had two hits for the Rangers and is now hitting .345 for the spring. Catcher Yorvit Torrealba, starting for the first time since Saturday, spent five innings behind the plate and did not have any problems. He had been sidelined with stiffness in his lower back.

Michael Kirkman, trying to win a spot as the left-handed setup reliever, retired the Reds in order in the eighth for his second straight scoreless outing. He has allowed one run on two hits in his last five innings.

The Rangers are now 2-9-1 in their last 12 games, after losing to both the Reds and Cubs on Thursday.

Up next: Following an extra day off, Brandon Phillips should be back in the lineup when the Reds meet the Padres on Friday at 10:05 p.m. ET in Peoria, Ariz. Phillips has hit safely in eight of his last 12 games. Bronson Arroyo will make the start for Cincinnati against a familiar face -- former Red Edinson Volquez will start for San Diego.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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