SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Joe Saunders finally felt good on Saturday. Other than that, it was a rough day.
Saunders struggled in Arizona's 13-10 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, and Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson would not guarantee the pitcher would open the season in the rotation.
The 6-foot-3 left-hander returned after missing two weeks because of the flu and allowed four runs and six hits in three innings.
``Nice to be healthy, and I felt really good,' he said. ``Thought I made some good pitches, broke a few bats, and felt like I could have gone four or five innings.'
Saunders was 0-2 in three previous spring appearances with a 15.88 ERA. Despite the rocky numbers, Saunders thinks he will be fine when the season starts.
``I've some springs where I felt I didn't pitch well and went 6-0 in April,' he said. ``I'll be ready.'
Gibson said he was encouraged by Saunders' outing against Cincinnati.
``I thought (Saunders) threw well,' Gibson said. ``Sure, he's a little behind at this point, and he needs to get his arm strength up. He made some mistakes and he threw the ball over the plate on some hitters. He can't do that.'
Travis Wood pitched five solid innings for the Reds, allowing one run and four hits. The lefty also hit a two-run homer in Cincinnati's six-run fourth inning as the Reds built a 10-0 lead.
``It's easy to pitch with that kind of lead,' Wood said. ``I was working on all my pitches and building up endurance. Nothing special, just getting ready for the season.'
NL MVP Joey Votto and Chris Heisey also went deep for the Cincinnati split-squad.
Arizona scored eight times in the eighth inning to take the lead. Ed Rogers and Brandon Allen each hit a two-run double and Adam Eaton connected for a two-run homer.
NOTES: The crowd of 12,398 crowd was the seventh sellout for the Diamondbacks in 12 games at Salt River. ... Chris Young hit his third spring homer for Arizona in the sixth.
The Associated Press News Service
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