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Willis throws 2 perfect innings in Reds win

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Dontrelle Willis continues to make a case for a spot in the Cincinnati Reds’ bullpen.

Willis pitched two perfect innings, striking out three, and Drew Stubbs hit a three-run homer and the Reds defeated the Kansas City Royals 5-2 Tuesday.

Willis, the 2003 National League rookie of the year, has made only three relief appearances in 192 games in the majors.

The Reds have openings for left-handed relievers and Willis hopes to get one of the spots.

He has allowed two hits in five scoreless innings in three spring training outings.

In his past two outings, he has been perfect in four innings against the Royals and Seattle Mariners.

“We keep our fingers crossed that he keeps performing the way he’s performing and enjoying it while he’s doing it,” Giants manager Dusty Baker said.

Willis won 22 games for the Florida Marlins in 2005, but has won only three games in the majors the past three years. He was with Detroit and Arizona in 2010 and signed a minor-league contract in December with the Reds.

Royals right-hander Kyle Davies pitched three shutout innings. He got out of a first-inning jam after giving up singles to Stubbs and Edgar Renteria and both advanced on a wild pitch.

“From there on, I had to bear down,” Davies said. “I thought I made some pretty good pitches to get out of it.”

The Royals took a 2-0 lead in the third when Billy Butler hit a two-run homer.

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