By Gary Schatz
GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Joey Votto had four hits, Brandon Phillips homered and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Chicago White Sox 6-3 at spring training on Wednesday.
Votto scored twice and drove in two runs. The slugger has hit safely in 13 of his 19 appearances and reached safely in 17 games.
Votto was aboard for Phillips’ second spring homer in the third against Jose Quintana. Phillips also doubled in the first and singled in the sixth.
“Some really nice offensive days from those guys in the middle of the order,” Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Quintana was charged with four runs and nine hits in three-plus innings. He struck out three and walked three.
“Today, I missed a lot in the zone. I threw too many pitches. My cutter was bad. It was a tough day,” Quintana said. “It was just one bad day.”
Reds minor leaguer Josh Smith pitched five innings of one-run ball in his first Cactus League start. The right-hander struck out six and walked one.
Smith retired his first 10 batters before Tyler Saladino hit his fifth home run.
Saladino had two of Chicago’s four hits.
On Phillips’ homer, Votto waited for the fly ball to clear the fence. Phillips chased Votto around the bases about a step behind. Both smiled as Votto maintained his slight lead.
White Sox: Quintana pitched six innings in his previous start against Seattle.
“My arm feels good. That’s all for spring training,” Quintana said. “I’m ready to focus on the season. A bad outing is part of the game.”
Reds: Smith made his major league debut with Cincinnati last season and went 0-4 with a 6.89 ERA in nine games, seven starts.
“It was everything we hoped that he would do after last year’s experience,” Price said. “He was challenging hitters and was way more aggressive in the strike zone. They had some pretty good hitters. It was nice to see him attack that lineup.”
The White Sox purchased the contract of veteran infielder Jimmy Rollins from Triple-A Charlotte. Right-hander Scott Carroll was optioned to Charlotte, and right-hander Jacob Turner was outrighted to Chicago’s top farm club.
The Reds optioned outfielder Tyler Holt to Triple-A Louisville. They also re-assigned right-handers Drew Hayes, Pedro Villarreal, Ryan Mattheus and J.C. Ramirez to minor league camp. Rule 5 selection LHP Chris O’Grady cleared waivers and was offered back to the Los Angeles Angels, who have three days to decide if they want to take him back for $25,000.
White Sox: The White Sox travel to San Diego, with RHP Mat Latos facing the Padres on Friday night.
Reds: LHP Cody Reed is scheduled to pitch against Cleveland Indians RHP Carlos Carrasco on Thursday.