Oakland's Ben Sheets was battered for 10 runs without retiring a batter in his latest poor showing, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Athletics, 13-5, in Goodyear, Ariz., on Monday.
Sheets signed a one-year, $10 million contract with Oakland after missing last season with elbow problems that required surgery. He gave up eight hits and a walk, and another batter reached on an error.
Chris Dickerson ended Sheets’ day with a two-run homer in his second at-bat of the first inning. Sheets has allowed 18 runs in 4 innings over his first three spring outings.
“I felt great,” Sheets said. “The problem is my good pitches were just a strike and my bad ones were hits. You need your good pitches to be put in play.
“That’s how you get outs. When you can’t even get out of the first inning, it’s ridiculous.”
Sheets gave up six runs against the White Sox on March 10.
“The second start (against Chicago), I felt worse,” Sheets said. “I felt terrible. This start was probably the best. I threw 91 mph, which is reasonable. I want to be successful. The lights are going to come on as long as I’m feeling OK.”
MVPs downplay rumors
Albert Pujols for Ryan Howard? The MVP sluggers don’t plan to pack their bags any time soon.
Talk of a megatrade kept baseball buzzing following an ESPN report the Philadelphia Phillies were thinking about asking the St. Louis Cardinals if they’d like to swap star first basemen.
Pujols didn’t appreciate the speculation.
“There’s people, stupid, that like to write something when it’s not the truth, and that’s all I have to say about that,” he said.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. used “lies” and “ridiculous” and “irresponsible” to describe the report.
“I really don’t have anything to say about it,” Howard said.
Arizona slugger Mark Reynolds said he’s agreed to terms on a new contract with the Diamondbacks worth a reported $14.5 million over three years that includes an $11 million club option for 2013. … The Chicago Cubs showed up for their exhibition game against Colorado in Tucson, Ariz., about an hour later than expected after their bus broke down on the highway because of engine trouble. … Florida shortstop Hanley Ramirez was scratched from an exhibition game against Minnesota because of a tight groin but said he expects to play today. … The Mets sent veteran knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey, who has pitched for the Tacoma Rainiers and Seattle Mariners, to their minor league camp. ... Former Mariners left-hander Jamie Moyer hit a rough patch in his latest outing for the Phillies, giving up five runs on eight hits in three innings to Toronto in a “B” game in Dunedin, Fla. … A private memorial service for former Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Willie Davis will be held today at Dodger Stadium. Davis was found dead in his Burbank, Calif., home last week. He was 69. … The Dodgers sent 2003 Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagné, 34, to their minor league camp, stalling the closer’s bid to make it back to the majors.