FORT MYERS, Fla. - Deion Sanders' return to his hometown was aforgettable one. Sanders, who grew up in North Fort Myers, went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts Friday night in the Cincinnati Reds'7-2 split-squad victory over the Minnesota Twins.
Sanders, also a member of the NFL's Washington Redskins, istrying to revive his two-sport career. Sanders, who hasn't played atthe Major League level since '97, signed a minor league contractFeb. 19 and is in Reds camp as a nonroster invitee.
Twin starter Matt Kinney, who fanned Sanders to start the game,didn't know what to think about Sanders' comeback.
"It's only one at-bat," Kinney said. "But just from what I'veseen in the past, he's got some ability."
The Reds did all their hitting early against Kinney (0-1) andJ.C. Romero, two candidates to be the Twins' fifth starter thisseason. Pokey Reese, 2-for-3 with two runs scored, homered in thefirst. Alex Ochoa, who played for Minnesota in 1998, followed athird-inning single by Reese with a two-run shot against Romero tomake it 3-1.
Dennys Reyes (1-0) gave up two runs in two and two-thirdsinnings. In the third, he gave up a walk to Luis Rivas and a singleto Matt Lawton. David Ortiz grounded into a double play, scoringRivas but ending the threat.
Reyes struck out Lawton looking in the first. Lawton was hit onthe right side of his face by a Reyes pitch in 1999 and missed morethan a month that season with a fractured eye socket.
The Reds added three unearned runs in the ninth on a two-runtriple by D.T. Cromer and a single by Brandon Larson.
Notes: The Reds' other half lost 7-4 to Cleveland on Friday. ...Cincinnati has three sets of split-squad games in the springschedule's first 10 days. ... Another hometown hero, Mike Greenwell,appeared for the Reds, striking out in his only at-bat.
in his only at-bat.