3/5/2013 6:06 P.M. ET
Rodriguez, Shuck spark Angels' winning seventh
Hanson allows solo homer in debut; Pujols 0-for-3 in first spring action
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels got two of their stars back in their rightful places in the lineup on Tuesday, and they overcame a two-homer game from Jay Bruce to take a 6-4 victory over the Reds. The Angels scored five runs in the seventh inning, keyed by two-run singles from Luis Rodriguez and J.B. Shuck.
Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols played in the same lineup for the first time this season, but neither played a big role in the game's final result. Hamilton, playing the outfield for just the second time, went 2-for-3, and Pujols went 0-for-3 in his first appearance this spring.
Bruce gave the Reds (2-11) the majority of their offense, homering off right-hander Tommy Hanson in the second inning and southpaw Scott Downs in the fourth. Bruce drilled a high fastball on a 2-0 count to left-center against Hanson and pulled a ball up the right-field line against Downs.
"I think everyone in the stadium knew a fastball was coming right there. And it was up," said Hanson of Bruce's homer. "He put a good swing on it. He's a good hitter. Strong dude. He hit it out."
Cincinnati starter Mike Leake worked three innings and allowed four hits, but he came out of the game without allowing any runs. He was followed by left-hander Aroldis Chapman, who gave up three hits in two innings, and one of them was a solo home run to Howie Kendrick.
The Reds scored the game's first two runs and led from the second inning all the way to the seventh. Kendrick's shot made it a one-run game in the fourth inning, and Rodriguez gave the Angels (2-8-2) their first lead on a two-run single off Josh Ravin. Alex Yarbrough followed with another RBI single before Shuck added a two-run single of his own.
Pujols, who spent the first few weeks of Spring Training recuperating from offseason surgery on his right knee, batted third for the Angels, one slot ahead of Hamilton. Mike Trout went 1-for-2 with a walk and a catch at the wall in left field, and first baseman Mark Trumbo went 1-for-3 with a strikeout.
"It's more fun to face big-name lineups," said Leake of the Angels. "It's a little bit more of a challenge and good to see where you're at and what your pitches are doing against big names."
Joey Votto went 1-for-2 with a walk for the Reds, and speedy center fielder Billy Hamilton went 0-for-3 to drop his spring batting average to .111. Yorman Rodriguez added a solo home run for Cincinnati in the ninth.
Up next for the Angels: So much for diplomacy. The Angels will send ace Jered Weaver to the hill against Team Italy on Wednesday in a home game at Tempe Diablo Stadium, live on MLB.TV at 12:05 p.m. PT. Team Italy will begin the opening round of World Baseball Classic play on Thursday against Team Mexico.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.