GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Gerado Parra and Willie Bloomquist are ready for the World Baseball Classic. Joey Votto is close to his decision.
Parra, who will play for Venezuela in the WBC, drove in three runs and threw out a base runner Thursday, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 6-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Bloomquist, who is on the U.S. roster, had three hits, including a double, and drove in a run.
The Reds built a 4-1 lead against starter Ian Kennedy and left-handed prospect Tyler Skaggs. Parra and Bloomquist helped put the Diamondbacks on top.
Votto will seek advice from Reds general manager Walt Jocketty and manager Dusty Baker about his WBC participation. He was given a spot on Canada's team, but isn't sure whether he will play. Votto missed 48 games last season because of torn knee cartilage and has looked good so far during spring training. The former NL MVP walked and scored in three plate appearances Thursday.
"It is difficult for me to commit because I've never been injured before," Votto said. "The reason I've hesitated is I want to make sure I'm comfortable playing and feeling good physically. I don't want something to interrupt the process that I need to go through to get ready for the regular season, which is my No. 1 priority."
Baker sees no reason why Votto can't play for the Canadian team that will train in Goodyear.
"If he asked me, I'd say yes," Baker said. "There is a lot of national pride playing for your country. As far as baseball's concerned, Joey is one of the national treasures of Canada."
The Reds denied starter Johnny Cueto's request to pitch for the Dominican Republic in the WBC, out of concern for his health. Cueto pulled muscles in his side during the playoffs last year, ending his season. Baker has seen nothing from Votto that would give him reason for concern about his knee.