Swisher debuts with run, RBI in high-scoring affair

Swisher debuts with run, RBI in high-scoring affair

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- It is usually said that the pitchers are ahead of the hitters at the onset of Spring Training. That theory flew out the window Friday, when the Indians and Reds renewed their rivalry in the Cactus League opener at a breezy Goodyear Ballpark.

Both teams showed off their revamped lineups, but Cleveland came out on top with an 11-10 walk-off victory over Cincinnati. Mike McDade hit a bases-loaded double off Reds pitcher Drew Hayes to clear the bases in the ninth and win it.

"I just don't know if everybody knew it was a walk-off," Indians manager Terry Francona said with a laugh. "Everybody was kind of looking around. Nobody knew how to act. Yeah, today was good. [The starters] got three innings just like we wanted. Everybody got an at-bat or two to kind of shake off the rust a little bit."

The always-energized Nick Swisher was ecstatic about the early showing from his new Indians squad.

"You add little pieces here or there, man, and the team gets excited, and we pop out seven runs in the first three innings in the first game," Swisher said. "Guys are really excited just to get out in those game-type situations where you can compete, not only against our own guys."

Swisher, who signed a four-year contract worth $56 million with the Tribe over the winter, roped an RBI single in the first inning for his first act as a member of the Indians. Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall chipped in a two-run home run, left fielder Michael Brantley contributed a pair of doubles and catcher Carlos Santana had two run-scoring singles.

That combined effort helped Cleveland take a 7-5 lead in the third inning after trailing 5-0 in the first. Second baseman Ryan Raburn added a solo homer in the seventh to score Cleveland's eighth run before its three-run ninth.

Indians lefty Giovanni Soto, who got the start in the Cactus League opener as he gets ready for a stint wth Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, allowed five runs on three hits in just two-thirds of an inning. Joey Votto got Cincinnati's five-run first rolling with an RBI single and catcher Ryan Hanigan wrapped up the rally with a two-run double.

Miguel Olivo and Devin Mesoraco each homered for the Reds. Both blasts came off Indians right-hander Joe Martinez, who was charged with five runs on five hits in two innings of relief for the Tribe.

Left-hander Tony Cingrani -- one of Cincinnati's top pitching prospects -- started for the Reds and allowed three runs on three hits in one inning. Cingrani had one strikeout and issued one walk in the effort.

Indians center fielder Michael Bourn, who signed a four-year deal worth $48 million shortly before Spring Training began, said it was great to see Cleveland's starting nine on the field for the first time this year.

"It felt cool," Bourn said. "You always want to see how it looks when you go out there together and match up and play against another team. I felt like we looked OK today. We scored some runs, got some walks, made some good plays on defense, also. It was a good day for the starters."

Up next: The Indians and Reds will square off again on Saturday in a 3:05 p.m. ET affair at Goodyear Ballpark. Cincinnati will give the ball to right-hander Alfredo Simon, who is prepping for a stint with Dominican Republic in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Second baseman Brandon Phillips -- a former Indian and a member of the Classic's Team USA squad -- will likely be in the lineup again for the Reds. Righty Brett Myers, who signed a one-year contract with Cleveland during the offseason, is slated to start and pitch two innings for the Tribe.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.