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Opening Day: Five-run eighth lifts Reds over Phillies

Cincinnati, OH– A pair of two-run singles by Joey Votto and Jay Bruce helped the Cincinnati Reds win on Opening Day for the second straight year, 6-2, over the Philadelphia Phillies. 

The largest regular-season crowd in Reds’ history was on hand to watch the paint dry for the first seven-and-a-half innings as a two-run home run by shortstop Freddy Galvis was enough to give the visiting Phillies a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth.

Zack Cozart returned to the lineup after suffering a season-ending knee injury against the Phillies last June and did not disappoint; racking up all three Cincinnati hits through their first seven times at the plate.

After doubling in his first plate appearance, Cozart scored after Ryan Howard couldn’t handle a throw from Galvis on a ground ball by Eugenio Suarez.

Cozart would tie the game at two in the eighth inning with a sac-fly that scored Tyler Holt.

After Suarez drew a walk to load the bases following Cozart’s RBI, Votto delivered the go-ahead two-run single to center field to make fans quickly forget about his three prior strikeouts.

Two batters later, Bruce played add-on with a two-run knock of his own to give the Reds a four-run cushion at 6-2.

J.J Hoover closed out the ninth in order and the Reds claimed their first Opening-Day victory over Philadelphia since 1986.

With a plethora of starters including Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani and Michael Lorenzen on the disabled list to start the season, Raisel Iglesias got the nod, the second Cuban-born pitcher in team history to start on Opening Day (Dolf Luque; 1921 & 1928).

Despite the two-run homer to Galvis, Iglesias was productive, striking out seven over six innings. Dating back to last season, Iglesias has a quality start in eight of his last 10 outings.

Making his Phillies’ debut, starter Jeremy Hellickson was in line for a victory had it not been for a bullpen collapse in the later frames.

Hellickson, traded to Philadelphia from the Diamondbacks last November, allowed just three hits (all to Cozart) over six innings and one unearned run.

Reliever David Hernandez was tagged with the loss and three earned runs in the eighth without retiring a single batter.

Newly-acquired veteran Ross Ohlendorf (making his Reds’ debut) only needed five pitches to strikeout the lone batter he faced in the top of the eighth to record his first National-League victory since 2013.

What’s next?

Per usual, Opening Day is followed by an off day. But the hometown Reds will be back in action with back-to-back contests on Wednesday and Thursday against the Phillies at the same venue.

Aaron Nola takes the mound for Philadelphia and Brandon Finnegan hits the bump for Cincinnati.

@scdermer4

 

 

 

Grant E. Doepel

Grant E. Doepel

Editor in Chief and co-founder of Riverfront Grumble, Doepel is a Cincinnati native who lives and breathes Queen City sports. A University of the Cumberlands graduate with degrees in Journalism and Communication Arts, Doepel still resides in the Greater Cincinnati area to provide easy access to the riverfront stadiums.
Grant E. Doepel

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