BASEBALL / SPRING TRAINING REPORT : Reds’ Rijo Excited by New Contract
Excited by his new contract, Jose Rijo gave up a first-inning home run Friday before settling down to get the victory as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Kansas City Royals, 8-6.
Rijo (1-0), who agreed in principle to a multiyear contract earlier in the day, fell behind quickly as Wally Joyner hit a two-run homer in the first.
The right-hander gave up only one more run during six innings, striking out seven.
“I had a hard time concentrating today,” Rijo said. “Maybe I was too emotional.”
The two sides haven’t agreed yet on the length of the contract or the dollar amount. Rijo is making $3.5 million in the final year of a three-year deal and is expected to get at least $5 million a year in the new contract.
The Detroit Tigers ended a 16-game winless streak with an 8-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, getting two home runs from Kirk Gibson and another from Cecil Fielder, his first of the spring. Gibson also singled to go three for five with three runs batted in. He is hitting .436 this spring. . . . The Tigers claimed outfielder Gary Thurman on waivers from the Royals. . . . Harold Baines, who had only four hits all spring, went four for four to lead the Baltimore Orioles past the Texas Rangers, 5-4.
The Colorado Rockies, in the market for a left-handed reliever, acquired Gary Wayne from the Minnesota Twins. The Rockies dealt right-hander Brett Merriman to the Twins for Wayne, 30, and Rob Wassenaar, 27. Wayne was 3-3 with a 2.63 earned-run average in 41 relief appearances with the Twins last season.