5 takeaways from Reds’ loss to Guardians in home opener

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

CINCINNATI — The Cleveland Indians owned the Cincinnati Reds in recent seasons. The Cleveland Guardians took a first step toward similar dominance in the Ohio Cup on Tuesday, spoiling Opening Day in Cincinnati with a 10-5 victory at Great American Ball Park.

A nickname change didn’t change much — at least in the first game of the series this season. The Reds have not won the season series since 2014 and have lost the series five times in the last seven seasons. There was a 2-2 split in 2017 and a 3-3 split last season.

Here are five takeaways from the Reds’ home opener:

1. The bullpen let the Reds down in the ninth: Cleveland broke a 4-4 tie with six runs in their last at-bat.

Andrés Giménez hit a two-run home run against Hunter Strickland with one out, and four batters later, José Ramírez hit a grand slam against Daniel Duarte.

Strickland, pitching for his eighth big-league team in nine seasons, signed with the Reds as a free agent in March. Duarte was making his second appearance. He made his big-league debut with a scoreless inning Friday against the Braves.

2. The Reds showed fight by rallying from a 4-0 deficit: After being no-hit for five innings, the Reds offense came to life in the sixth. Jonathan India hit a two-run double.

Tyler Naquin followed with a game-tying two-run home run against his former team.

“It is a game of momentum,” Naquin said, “and we had it for a little bit.”

3. This was the third Reds comeback that ended in a loss: The Reds lost 7-6 to the Braves on Friday after falling behind 7-0, and they lost 2-1 on Saturday to the Braves, scoring their only run in the ninth and leaving the tying run on first.

“As tough as it is to take a loss,” Reds manager David Bell said, “when you just keep playing like that and don’t give up and just do everything you can, even if you don’t win that game, it can really carry over.”

4. Shane Bieber took a no-hitter into the sixth: The Indians ace retired the first 10 batters he faced before walking Naquin in the fourth. He got out of that inning with a double play and then got another double play in the fifth after walking Joey Votto to lead off the inning.

Bieber left the game after giving up the two-run double to India. Anthony Gose gave up the home run to Naquin.

“Bieber was so tough at the beginning of that game,” Bell said.

5. The Bengals were the highlight of the game until the Reds’ comeback: Joe Burrow threw out the ceremonial first pitch to coach Zac Taylor before the game. It was a strike, of course.

Prior to that, Votto came over to talk to Burrow, who was accompanied by receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. Chase also participated in the festivities by handing the National League Rookie of the Year Award to India.


Cleveland has scored 10 or more runs in three straight games, all victories. It has a total of 37 runs in the three games.


Three-time All-Star José Ramírez drove in six runs for the Guardians after driving in five runs in their first four games. The grand slam was his second home run of the season. It was the third grand slam of his career.


Reds left fielder Tommy Pham collided with center fielder Nick Senzel as both chased a fly ball. Neither made the catch, and two runs scored on the double by Ramírez in the third. Pham hurt his hand on the play but stayed in the game until being replaced by Aristides Aquino in the fifth. Bell said x-rays were negative.


Nick Lodolo will make his big-league debut for the Reds in the second and final game of the series at 12:35 p.m. Wednesday. Triston McKenzie (0-1, 6.00) will start for the Guardians.


Guardians at Reds, 12:35 p.m., Bally Sports Ohio, 700, 1410

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