Reds 5, Angels 4 …


Dan Haren battled through lacking command to almost notch a quality start, but the tall Loek Van Mil — called up from Minor League camp — served up a two-run, walk-off homer to Ryan Ludwick for the loss. The Angels had just five hits.

The good

Vernon Wells hit a solo homer to left field off Bronson Arroyo, giving him three home runs and 12 RBIs this spring — after just one homer and six RBIs last spring.

Jason Isringhausen pitched a clean seventh inning, with a strikeout, a groundout and a lineout.

The bad

Bobby Abreu (making his almost-daily appearance on the postgame blog) went 0-for-4 with three groundouts to the right side and a strikeout. The 38-year-old is now 4-for-46 this spring, which equates to a .087 batting average.

Haren gave up just two runs in 5 2/3 innings, and his ERA is still just 2.18 this spring, but he gave up nine hits and he battled through what he called “dead arm” — though he feels it’ll go away by the time he makes his last spring start on Monday.

Kevin Jepsen, vying for an open bullpen spot, gave up a leadoff homer to Paul Janish in the eighth inning, putting his ERA at 5.00 through nine Cactus League frames.

Peter Bourjos went 0-for-3 with a couple of strikeouts as the leadoff hitter.

Daily Albert Pujols update: Did Not Play.

Best quote

Haren, on what “dead arm” means: “The arm feels slow. That’s all it really is. And I think the normal thing to do is to try to add a little bit, then your mechanics can get a little out of sort. So I wasn’t trying to add too much. I knew my arm wasn’t feeling that great. Health-wise, my body feels great, my arm  is healthy, and I’m where I need to be.”

Best play (that I saw)

It would’ve been awfully thrilling if it didn’t come in a Spring Training game in front of a smattering of fans, but with two outs, one on and his team trailing by two in the bottom of the ninth, Ludwick hit a line drive to left that sailed over the left-field fence to give his club the victory and put Van Mil’s Cactus League ERA at 9.53.


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