Cueto settles in vs. D-backs, avoids injury scare

Cueto settles in vs. D-backs, avoids injury scare

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The D-backs scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth and added four more in the seventh en route to a 7-2 win over the Reds on Monday afternoon at Salt River Fields.

In his second start, Brandon McCarthy gave up one run over three innings with five strikeouts. The only hit he allowed came two batters into the game when Zack Cozart took McCarthy very deep with a home run to left field.

Reds ace Johnny Cueto also worked three innings in his second outing of spring. Cueto labored in the first by beginning with a single and a walk. After a double steal put both runners in scoring position, Jason Kubel hit a check-swing grounder near the mound. Cueto fell down trying to field the ball as Adam Eaton scored. Cueto was checked over by the trainer but allowed to continue.

In the second inning, Cueto struck out the side, and he retired the side in order in the third.

"I feel pretty good," Cueto said with instructor Mario Soto interpreting. "I settled myself and said that's enough, I have to concentrate and pitch my own game."

The D-backs scored twice in the fifth against reliever Manny Parra. Pinch-hitter Aaron Hill drove in Wil Nieves with a single to right field. John McDonald later scored on Cliff Pennington's infield hit despite a nice diving play by second baseman Cesar Izturis.

In the seventh against D-backs reliever Starling Peralta, Xavier Paul hit a double to right field and scored from third base on Henry Rodriguez's groundout to second base. Arizona responded with three runs in the bottom half against Clay Hensley, including a solo homer to right-center field by Chris Owings. The other two runs were unearned because of a pair of throwing errors by third baseman Rodriguez.

Up next: The battle for the fifth spot in the Reds rotation will be front and center as the Reds play the Angels on Tuesday at 3:05 p.m. ET in Tempe. Mike Leake is scheduled to start while Aroldis Chapman is slated to follow from the bullpen. Both pitchers are seeking to make the rotation.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.