The decision to postpone the season opener paid off for the Cincinnati Reds in one way. Fans stayed dry Friday at Great American Ball Park. The sun even showed its face during pregame introductions and again in the later innings.
That was the good news for the Reds. Washington Nationals starter Max Scherzer delivered the bad news, delivering a dominant performance by striking out 10 batters in six innings to lead his team to a 2-0 victory on the 142nd Opening Day in Cincinnati.
The Reds lost on Opening Day for the second season in a row and the fourth time in six years. This was their first shutout loss in the opener since a 1-0 loss to the Cardinals in 2014.
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Springfield native and former Miami University outfielder Adam Eaton, playing in his first big-league game since April 28 of last season, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury, led off the game with a bloop single to right. He moved to third on a single by Bryce Harper and scored on a fielder’s choice groundout by Ryan Zimmerman. That was Washington’s only run until the ninth.
Reds starter Homer Bailey, who made his first career start on Opening Day, gave up a number of long fly balls early in the game but followed the first inning with five scoreless innings. He left the bases loaded in the sixth. Michael Taylor flew out to left to end the inning. Reds left fielder Jesse Winker and center fielder Billy Hamilton collided on the play, but Winker held onto the ball.
Opening Day photos: Reds vs. Nationals https://t.co/VKB97FJwwX pic.twitter.com/50Ex1hxUki— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) March 31, 2018
The sun came out just in time. #reds #openingday pic.twitter.com/YesIsuSss3— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) March 30, 2018
Check out a few of the new things at Great American Ballpark this season https://t.co/1n4EE6aAhJ— Marcus Hartman (@marcushartman) March 31, 2018
A crowd of 43,878 today. Largest regular-season crowd in GABP history. Lots of empty seats, but a good showing nonetheless. pic.twitter.com/gqBbStw29W— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) March 30, 2018
Bailey allowed one run on four hits in six innings. He struck out three and walked three.
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Scooter Gennett, making his first Opening Day start in his second season in Cincinnati, recorded the first hit of the season for the Reds, a lead-off double in the second. The Reds stranded him there as Scott Schebler, Tuckert Barnhart and Jose Peraza struck out. Gennett went 4-for-4.
The Reds threatened again in the fourth. Gennett and Schebler singled with two outs, but Barnhart struck out to end the inning.
Gennett went 4-for-4. He’s the first Red to go for 4-for-4 on Opening Day since Ramon Hernandez in 2011.
Notes: The crowd of 43,878 was the largest regular-season crowd in Great American Ball Park history. .. Dave Martinez made his debut as Nationals manager. His 16-year playing career included one season with the Reds. He hit .254 in 135 games in 1992.
Nationals at Reds, 2:10 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410
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