GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) - Travis Wood is hoping to pick up where he left off last season.
Wood pitched four solid innings and Jay Bruce hit his first spring homer in the Cincinnati Reds' 6-3 loss to a Los Angeles Angels split-squad on Sunday.
Wood allowed two runs and two hits, struck out five and walked none. The left-hander is competing for a spot in the rotation after narrowly missing the opening-day roster a year ago.
``He should have got out of there with nothing,' manager Dusty Baker said. ``We were kind of blase on a double-play ball.'
Wood is competing with Mike Leake and Homer Bailey for two open spots in the Reds rotation. Leake beat him out last spring but Wood contributed to Cincinnati's NL Central title over the last part of the season.
``You wouldn't know that he only had two months in the big leagues,' Baker said. ``He remains motivated and hungry. We're very pleased with him. He's throwing the ball as well as anybody.'
Wood went 5-4 with a 3.51 ERA in 17 starts for the Reds last season. He thinks that success has helped him this spring.
``Being able to come up and have some success last year helped me with my confidence,' Wood said. ``I am happy with where I am right now. I have command of my fastball. I hope it gets better and better until the season starts.'
Bruce, who agreed to a six-year, $51 million contract in the offseason, connected against prospect Garrett Richards in the first inning. He also singled against Kevin Jepson.
Bruce had just four singles in 20 at_bats coming into the game.
``Jay's looking a little better,' Baker said. ``We didn't do a whole bunch wrong today. We just got beat today.'
The Angels got to Jared Burton for four runs in the eighth inning. Angel Castillo hit a two-run double and Jeremy Moore had a run-scoring triple.
Burton, trying to earn a spot in Cincinnati's bullpen, had made four scoreless appearances prior to Sunday.
``Burt got roughed up a little bit but the young kid (Ryan LaMarre) lost a couple balls in the sun,' Baker said.
Efren Navarro had two hits and two RBIs for Los Angeles. Richards gave up one run and two hits in three innings.
NOTES: Reds LHP Dontrelle Willis had his right ankle wrapped but doesn't want to miss any time. ``I rolled it before,' Willis said. ``I knew what happened as soon as I did it. I'll be all right.' Baker wants his ankle to be ready before he throws again. ``You don't want him to hurt something else by changing his delivery. I'll see how he moves,' the manager said. ... Alberto Callaspo (right shoulder soreness) served as the Angels' designated hitter and went 1 for 3. He is expected to play in the field later next week. ... Angels LHP Scott Kazmir will pitch in a ``B' game on Monday. ... Reds RHP Johnny Cueto, who left his last start with tightness in his right forearm and biceps, will be re-examined on Monday.
The Associated Press News Service
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