One run on the scoreboard was enough for the Cincinnati Reds to break through for their first victory of the 2018 season. The Reds blanked the Chicago Cubs 1-0 on Monday at Great American Ballpark.
Here are some quick observations:
Big moment: The Cubs loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but Raisel Iglesias struck out Anthony Rizzo to end the inning. Iglesias then pitched a perfect ninth.
Strong start: In his first start of the season, Reds rookie Tyler Mahle threw six scoreless innings. He struck out seven, walked two and allowed one hit.
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First lead: The Reds didn’t have a lead in 27 innings against the Washington Nationals in the season-opening series, and this game was tied 0-0 through three innings. The Reds finally grabbed a lead in the fourth when Eugenio Suarez led off with a triple to center field. He scored one batter later on a groundout by Adam Duvall.
Tough play: Reds shortstop Cliff Pennington, making his first start of the season, snagged a sharp ground ball from Addison Russell with a runner on first and no outs. That led to an inning-ending double play.
Two catches: Jesse Winker couldn’t make a diving catch in the second, and Javier Baez got a triple. In the third, however, Winker made a diving catch to rob Kris Bryant of a hit and then made a jumping grab to catch a line drive by Anthony Rizzo.
Relief help: New Reds reliever Jared Hughes made his third appearance in the first four games, throwing a scoreless seventh inning.
Missed chance: Winker and Pennington led off the first inning with walks for the Reds. Joey Votto followed with a strikeout. That loomed large when Scooter Gennett followed Votto with a single. Suarez grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Big picture: The Reds (1-3) avoided their first 0-4 start since 1995 when they began the season 0-6. That team won the National League Central Division championship.
Looking ahead: The Reds play the Cubs at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday in the second and final game of the series.