Veteran Indians right-hander and offseason free-agent signee Brett Myers set down what amounted to a Triple-A Louisville lineup for the Reds, pitching five innings, allowing a run on three hits and striking out three. He earned the win.
Because of a back injury to Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who was back in the lineup after missing a week, Francona had not been able to set up his regulars, not until Saturday.
"This is it unless something happens on that flight," Francona said. "What do I like about it? It has balance, speed and length to it. We have switch hitters. We have left-handed hitters. We have right-handed power. Now we have to go see how this lineup is going to do.
"A guy like Mark Reynolds sitting down there in the seven hole, if he goes through periods where he's missing, he's not hitting cleanup. He's going to have so many opportunities to drive in runs with [Michael] Brantley and [Carlos] Santana hitting in front of him. I think that puts him in a good position."
Santana hit a homer for the Tribe, leading off the fourth inning against Reds right-hander Armando Galarraga, who went four and was touched up for two runs on five hits with four walks and a strikeout. Galarraga was tagged with the loss.
The Indians' regulars started to leave the game in the second inning. Meanwhile, the Reds' regulars were all in the starting lineup downtown at Chase Field, where Dusty Baker managed the club against the D-backs. Opening Day for the Reds is at home against the Angels on Monday.
In Goodyear, the Reds were managed by veteran Jim Riggleman, who has been elevated in the organization to the Louisville job this year.
Their only run against Myers was generated by speedster Billy Hamilton, who opened the fourth with a single, stole second and came around to score on a pair of infield grounders.
The Indians also had a homer in the game from outfielder Matt Carson, his fifth of the spring.
Up next: On Saturday the Reds fly back to Cincinnati, where they will take Sunday off in preparation for Opening Day against the Angels. Festivities Monday will begin at noon with the 94th Findlay Market Parade, featuring George Foster as the grand marshal. Then, at the stadium, Joe Torre will throw out the ceremonial first pitch to Brandon Phillips. The game will start at 4:10 p.m. ET, with Johnny Cueto taking on Jered Weaver.