The Pirates got the right-handed reliever from the Yankees as part of the trade for Xavier Nady last July, then put him in the rotation for the rest of the season. They kept him there this spring, and he provided more evidence on Monday that it was the right move.
Ohlendorf pitched into the sixth inning, allowing only a run set up by a flyball lost in the sun, and the Pirates' reserves rallied in the ninth inning for a 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Ohlendorf gave up only three hits during 5 1-3 innings, another solid showing. Overall this spring, the right-hander has allowed only two earned runs in 20 2-3 innings.
"I'm really excited about the regular season, but I'm still getting things out of these games," Ohlendorf said. "I want to show them why I feel I deserve to be in the rotation. I want to make their decision look good."
Cincinnati got its run off Ohlendorf in the sixth, when Laynce Nix hit a routine flyball to center that fell for a double when Nate McLouth lost it in the sun. Nix scored on Adam Rosales' double to tie it at 1.
Rosales gave the Reds the lead with an RBI double in the eighth as both teams substituted all eight starters in the final innings. Jeff Salazar's two-out single in the bottom of the ninth tied it against Josh Roenicke. After a walk, Jason Jaramillo singled up the middle off Daniel Ray Herrara for the winning run.
Reds manager Dusty Baker liked the way starter Johnny Cueto pitched out of a threat in the fourth, when he lost his feel for his pitches. As a rookie last season, Cueto tended to let one lapse lead to another, setting up a big inning.
"That's maturity," Baker said. "He's matured. He takes his time. He knows what he has to do."
Cueto, who has a 1.57 ERA this spring, gave up three hits, four walks and one run in five innings. After Craig Monroe hit a sacrifice fly for the second out in the fourth inning, Cueto walked the next three batters -- including Ohlendorf -- before getting McLouth to line out to second baseman Brandon Phillips, who jumped to make the catch.
"He threw the ball well again," Baker said. "He lost control that one inning, but other than that one inning, he threw the ball great. He got unraveled a little bit, then he gathered himself and found the strike zone."
The Pirates reduced their roster to 35 by sending CF Andrew McCutchen to their minor league camp and optioning INF Brian Bixler to Triple-A Indianapolis. The 22-year-old McCutchen, a first-round draft pick in 2005, batted .318 with two homers this spring. ... Pirates SS Jack Wilson was back in the lineup after missing two games. He fouled a ball off his left knee on Friday, causing swelling. Wilson went 0-for-2 with a walk. ... The Reds got their roster down to 33 players by sending OF Jacque Jones to their minor league camp and optioning OF Norris Hopper and RHP Daryl Thompson to Triple-A Louisville. Jones batted .089 after signing with the Reds on Feb. 5. ... 3B Edwin Encarnacion and SS Alex Gonzalez stayed in Sarasota and played DH in minor league games. Encarnacion has been sidelined for a week by a sore throwing shoulder. Gonzalez has been out for a week with a strained hamstring.