The Cincinnati Reds were booed by fans at spring training and lost for the ninth time in the last 12 games Sunday as the New York Mets scored 11 runs off star pitcher Mario Soto in six innings and went on to an easy 15-2 win at Tampa, Fla.
Soto, who complained of pain in his right elbow March 24 in a game against Toronto, said: "I've got to get my arm ready. The elbow bothers me, and I'm just getting work. You can't pitch for the crowd; you have to get your work in."
Soto gave up 14 hits, including a second-inning home run by Clint Hurdle, and saw his earned-run average climb to 8.00 in 18 innings.
Former Red pitcher Bruce Berenyi gained the win, his second, by pitching two-hit ball in the first three innings. The Reds collected only seven hits off Berenyi, Roger McDowell and Jesse Orosco.
At Scottsdale, Ariz., Ricky Adams had three hits, including the game-winning RBI, to lift the San Francisco Giants over the Oakland A's, 6-4.
Jim Gott started for the Giants, went six innings and allowed only one unearned run to get the victory. Gott walked four--three in the second inning--and struck out four. Oakland starter Bill Krueger, who went the first 4 innings, took the loss.
A's veteran Steve McCatty, still not assured of a roster spot, was outstanding in relief. He entered the game in the fifth inning with two runners on and got Scot Thompson to hit into an inning-ending double play and struck out the side in the sixth.
The Detroit Tigers scored six runs on seven hits in 2 innings off Minnesota rookie right-hander Rich Yett and went on to beat the Twins, 7-5, at Orlando, Fla.
Alan Trammell hit a solo home run off reliever Curt Wardle in the fifth inning for Detroit's seventh run. Minnesota's Kent Hrbek socked a two-run double in the first inning and hit a two-run homer in the third to cut the Tigers' lead to 6-4.
Rookie third baseman Greg Gagne then homered off Detroit reliever Willie Hernandez to lead off the ninth, and Tim Teufel and Dave Engle added singles. But Hernandez retired Hrbek on a fly ball to short right field to clinch the victory.
At Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Butch Wynegar capped a six-run fifth inning with a grand-slam home run to lift the New York Yankees to their fourth straight victory, 8-6, over the Boston Red Sox.
The Yankees, who have now won 11 of their last 15, mostly without the services of Don Mattingly, Rickey Henderson and Dave Winfield, had to rally from a 6-1 deficit. The Red Sox scored all six runs in the top of the fifth on homers by Reid Nichols, Dwight Evans and Tony Armas.
At St. Petersburg, Fla., Jack Clark hit his second homer of the spring, scored two runs and the St. Louis Cardinals benefited from four Montreal errors to defeat the Expos, 5-3.
Clark's homer in the eighth inning came off Bert Roberge, the fourth Montreal pitcher. Willie McGee collected two hits and an RBI for the Cardinals, while former Expo Argenis Salazar had three hits and Darrell Porter two.
Luis Leal pitched five shutout innings and Dane Iorg drove in two runs as the Toronto Blue Jays battled to a 2-2, tie with the Chicago White Sox at Sarasota, Fla., that was called after 13 innings by agreement.
Leal retired the first 10 batters he faced, and Iorg drove in Blue Jay runs in the fifth and seventh innings. Carlton Fisk and Jerry Hairston drove in the runs for the White Sox, who got six innings of one-run ball from starter Britt Burns.
Right fielder Ben Oglivie's wild throw with two out and the bases loaded in the ninth inning allowed pinch runners Jerry Davis and Mario Ramirez to score and give the San Diego Padres a 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Yuma, Ariz.
It was the fifth straight win for the Padres and the fourth consecutive loss for the Brewers.
Rookie outfielder John Russell and winning pitcher Kevin Gross hit home runs and the Philadelphia relievers Pat Zachry, Don Carmen and Charles Hudson retired 12 consecutive batters as the Phillies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-5, at Clearwater, Fla.