Back-to-back homers break game open in eighth
Oropesa, Perez go deep in six-run inning; Zito puts together solid outing
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Ricky Oropesa and Juan Perez delivered back-to-back homers in a six-run eighth inning Wednesday to power the San Francisco Giants past the Cincinnati Reds, 9-5, in a Cactus League rematch of last year's National League Division Series.
Non-roster invitee catcher Johnny Monell, batting .600 (9-for-15) this spring, went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs.
With one out and the score tied 3-3 in the eighth inning, Nick Noonan singled off Reds reliever Pedro Villareal. Oropesa then cleared the right-center field barrier with his first spring home run. Perez also recorded his first Cactus League homer by launching a drive to left field.
Kensuke Tanaka and Francisco Peguero singled before racing home on Monell's double. Monell scored on Ehire Adrianza's single.
The Giants, who have won three of their last four games, snapped Cincinnati's three-game winning streak.
Both starters recorded their longest outings of the spring. Cincinnati's Bronson Arroyo lasted four innings, surrendering two runs (one earned) and four hits. Arroyo has not walked a batter in his last nine innings. San Francisco's Barry Zito worked 3 1/3 innings, yielding five hits and just one run. He escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the third inning by coaxing Ryan Ludwick's one-hop smash to third baseman Joaquin Arias, who started a double play.
Arroyo and Zito welcome the extra preparation time afforded by the World Baseball Classic, which lengthened Spring Training.
"There's nothing worse than losing a game at the start of the season, because you've thrown 80 pitches only once," Arroyo said.
"I'm not where I want to be yet, but that's why we have [the time] we have," Zito said.
The Reds opened the scoring in the first inning as Zack Cozart doubled with one out and came home on Neftali Soto's single. San Francisco responded by scoring twice in the second inning after two were out with nobody on base. Peguero singled, Monell doubled him home and Wilson Valdez hit a high chopper to Arroyo that was scored as an infield single. Monell came home when Arroyo overthrew first base.
The Giants added a run in the fifth with more help from Monell, who homered in Tuesday night's loss to San Diego. He led off with a single against Sean Marshall, advanced to second base on a groundout and scored on Guillermo Quiroz's single.
Cincinnati pulled even in the sixth inning against Giants left-hander Javier Lopez on Derrick Robinson's RBI single and Chris Heisey's solo homer.
Up next for Giants: It'll be only fitting if Tanaka, who starred for the Nippon Ham Fighters, plays a key role on Thursday for the Giants when they confront Japan's World Baseball Classic squad at 1:05 p.m PT. Japan is keeping its skills sharp en route to the Classic's semifinal round in San Francisco. Tanaka did not start Wednesday against Cincinnati, increasing the likelihood that he'll be in Thursday's lineup. On the mound, Yusmeiro Petit and Mike Kickham, who the Giants are counting on for starting pitching depth in the Minors, will attempt to build their endurance.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.