DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- Eric Milton's balky back prevented him from making his last spring training start.
Milton was scheduled to pitch in Cincinnati's final exhibition game Saturday against the Florida Marlins, but was scratched because of lower back spasms. Reds manager Jerry Narron said the left-hander would be evaluated Sunday in Cincinnati.Milton is slated to start the Reds' third game of the season on Thursday against the Chicago Cubs.Kyle Lohse filled in and gave up a long home run to Florida slugger Miguel Cabrera that landed on the street outside Fifth Third Field. The Marlins beat a Cincinnati split squad 6-2."It's more important how you feel," Lohse said. "You can go out there and throw five scoreless innings, but you could be throwing stuff down the middle and getting away with it. I did feel good, so that's the most important part."Ken Griffey Jr. went 0-for-2 with a strikeout as the Reds' designated hitter.Lohse, a right-hander who could occupy the No. 3 or No. 4 spot in Cincinnati's rotation, allowed two runs and two hits in four innings. In four other spring starts, Lohse went 1-0 with a 4.80 ERA, knowing all along he would have a starting spot.That's what he wanted when he came to the Reds last season from the Minnesota Twins. He's now part of a rotation that he thinks can surpass expectations."I think our staff's probably going to surprise some people," Lohse said.Sergio Mitre, the Marlins' No. 4 starter, gave up one run and three hits in five innings with six strikeouts. It was a strong tuneup for his season debut Friday against Philadelphia in Florida's home opener."Everything's pretty much on a good note," Mitre said. "I ended up good today, so I just need to take that into the season. I threw the ball pretty good all spring. I feel good, I'm healthy right now, so I know I just need to maintain and carry it through the whole season."The Marlins went up 2-1 in the fourth when Cabrera's home run left the park and bounced on Monument Avenue. Florida added four runs in the fifth against reliever Dustin Hermanson. After that, both teams inserted mostly backups and minor leaguers.