Reds 6

(11-10, 6-4 away)

Red Sox 4

(10-10, 7-5 home)

    6:05 PM ET, March 22, 2005

    City of Palms Park, Fort Myers, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    CIN 040200000 6 - -
    BOS 100003000 4 - -

    Cincinnati 6, Boston 4

    FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- Tim Wakefield is excited about pitching Boston's home opener as World Series champions. He just wants to pitch better than he did Tuesday night.

    He allowed six runs on eight hits, including Adam Dunn's two-run homer, in 3 1-3 innings and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Red Sox 6-4.

    "I didn't feel as comfortable as I have in the last three starts," the knuckleballer said. "The ball stayed up and they've got a good hitting club over there."

    So do the New York Yankees, but Wakefield is looking forward to facing them at Fenway Park on April 11 after a pregame ceremony in which the Red Sox will receive their World Series rings.

    "It's a huge honor to be able to get our rings and start the home opener against New York," he said. "I'm proud to be able to take the ball for us."

    Cincinnati starter Jeriome Robertson has a less dramatic April to look forward to. He simply wants to get one of the two vacancies in the Reds rotation and he picked up the win Tuesday when he gave up one run on two hits in two innings.

    Robertson is in camp on a minor league deal and hasn't gotten an indication of where he stands in the competition.

    "No more than coming into the spring," he said. "We've had a few guys battling for the rotation, and then there's some bullpen spots open. Besides being told that at the beginning of the spring, I've just been going out and getting myself ready for the season."

    Robertson gained a spot in Houston's rotation late during the 2003 camp and won 15 games as a rookie. He was the odd man out after the Astros got Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte last year. He was traded to Cleveland late in camp, struggled as a reliever and was traded to Montreal in August.

    He gave up the first run Tuesday in the first inning on a walk to Edgar Renteria, a double by Manny Ramirez and an RBI single by Kevin Millar.

    The Reds made it 4-1 in the second on Bobby Estalella's sacrifice fly, Felipe Lopez's run-scoring double and Dunn's third homer of spring training. They added two runs in the fourth when Estalella tripled and scored on a passed ball and Sean Casey hit an RBI double.

    Boston cut the lead to 6-4 in the sixth against David Weathers on a 450-foot homer by David Ortiz, his fifth in 30 spring training at-bats, and a two-run double by Bill Mueller. But the Red Sox were hitless over the last three innings. Cincinnati had no hits against all four relievers who followed Wakefield over the last 5 1-3 innings.< ^Notes:@Boston closer Keith Foulke retired all seven batters he faced after replacing Wakefield. He's allowed one hit in 5 1-3 innings in four exhibition outings. "He's elevating his fastball," manager Terry Francona said. "I think the two weeks that we took to just let him get his arm strength have really been beneficial." ... Six Reds' relievers allowed three hits in seven innings, all off Weathers in the sixth. ... Robertson made his first start and fifth appearance of spring training. ... Wakefield had allowed one earned run in nine innings in his other three outings.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press