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Erik Kratz homers off Tony Cingrani, Royals beat Reds 5-2

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GOODYEAR, Arizona — Erik Kratz homered off left-hander Tony Cingrani, who is trying to win one of the openings in Cincinnati's rotation, and the split-squad Kansas City Royals beat the Reds 5-2 on Wednesday.

Cingrani, coming off shoulder problems last season, gave up three hits and a walk in three innings, including Kratz's solo homer.

Left-hander Paul Maholm started for Cincinnati and allowed one hit in three scoreless innings, strengthening his bid for one of the three open spots in the rotation. The Royals' Jorge Bonifacio hit a two-run double off reliever Sam LeCure in the eighth.

"Maholm had good tempo," manager Bryan Price said. "We played good defense behind him. Eight of the nine outs were ground balls. That was good to see."

Joey Votto had a sacrifice fly off Joe Blanton, who gave up four hits and a run in three innings. Votto is working back from a thigh injury that sidelined him most of last season

Blanton is in a similar situation to Maholm, trying to make the roster as a starter or long relief for the American League champions. It was his second outing of the spring.

"Blanton was a lot sharper than he was in his last outing," bench coach Don Wakamatsu said. "It had been awhile since he pitched."

Designated hitter Omar Infante doubled in four trips to the plate in his first start this spring.

"He had good at-bats," Wakamatsu said. "For his first outing, I thought he was seeing the ball well."


PHOTO: Kansas City Royals' Alcides Escobar (2) reaches over to tag out Cincinnati Reds' Jason Bourgeois, left, after Bourgeois slid past second base while attempting a steal during the first inning of a spring training baseball game Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Kansas City Royals' Alcides Escobar (2) reaches over to tag out Cincinnati Reds' Jason Bourgeois, left, after Bourgeois slid past second base while attempting a steal during the first inning of a spring training baseball game Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

TRAINIERS ROOM

Royals: Omar Infante played his first game after having a cortisone injection in his throwing shoulder on Saturday. Infante was 1-for-4 with a double as the designated hitter.

Reds: Homer Bailey threw his fifth bullpen session on Wednesday. He is tentatively scheduled for live batting practice on the 14th. He will pitch two live bullpen sessions before pitching in a game. He is recovering from elbow surgery. ... Billy Hamilton (shoulder) and Devin Mesoraco (concussion) have increased baseball activity. Jay Bruce was scratched from the lineup Wednesday with a strained right calf.

UP NEXT

Royals: The Royals return to Goodyear on Thursday to play the Indians. LHP Danny Duffy will start against Nick Maronde. LHP Franklin Morales, RHP Luke Hochever, RHP Christian Binford, RHP Ryan Madson and RHP Casey Coleman will follow Duffy.

Reds: Mike Leake will start at the Diamondbacks against Allen Webster. RHP Nate Adcock, RHP Raisel Iglesias, and LHP Amir Garrett will follow Leake in the "A'' game. The Reds added a "B'' game against the Diamondbacks. RHP Nick Howard, LHP Manny Parra, RHP Jumbo Diaz, RHP Burke Badenhop and LHP Ismael Guillon will pitch in that game.

STARTING TIME

Royals: Blanton felt better in his start on Wednesday. He's hoping to stick with the Royals as a starter or long reliever. "I was talking to Ryan Madson," Blanton said. "We were together a long time (in Philadelphia). He made a suggestion for my mechanics. I thought it sounded pretty good so I tried in in the bullpen and it worked."

Reds: Maholm was happy to get so many ground-ball outs. "I was just trying to get ground balls and let the guys make plays," said Maholm, who has induced 199 double play balls in the last nine seasons, the most in the big leagues.

PICKED

Cingrani, who has one of the better pick-off moves, caught Christian Colon and Bubba Starling off first base.

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Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto, right, tags Kansas City Royals' Alcides Escobar (2) out as he runs to first base after hitting a grounder during the first inning of a spring training baseball game Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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