Dietrich after home run on Reds Opening Day: ‘I couldn’t have written it up any better’

Ohio native hits three-run home run to break tie in eighth

Derek Dietrich knew the fastball was coming, and he knew where it was going when he made contact.

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“I knew it was a home run when it left my bat,” Dietrich said. “I was prepared for that pitch. After playing the role I’ve played for a few seasons, preparation is key. Knowing your opponents is just as important as knowing yourself. You kind of know what to expect from pitchers. You don’t always get what you’re looking for, but I’m glad I did today.”

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Dietrich hit a three-run home run against Pittsburgh Pirates starter Jameson Taillon in the seventh inning, breaking a 2-2 tie and lifting the Reds to a 5-3 victory on the 143rd Opening Day in Cincinnati and the 17th in Great American Ball Park history.

The Reds ended a two-game Opening Day losing streak thanks to Dietrich, a free agent who signed with the team in February.

Dietrich was born in Cleveland and attended St. Ignatius High School. He played college baseball at Georgia Tech and was a second-round pick in 2010. He played his first six seasons with the Miami Marlins, so he had experience playing at Great American Ball Park.

Playing for the Reds for the first time on Opening Day and playing the hero role is not something he could have predicted. He even got to do a curtain call after his home run as a regular-season record crowd of 44,049 called to him.

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“I was taking it all in with the guys,” Dietrich said. “They’re saying, ‘Get up there! Get up there!’ For me to expect something like that on my first day with a new organization in this city ... I don’t think I could have written it up any better.”

As he rounded the bases, shouting with glee and pumping his arms in excitement, Dietrich said he was thinking, “Thank you, Lord. Thanks for the opportunity. I couldn’t wait to get to the dugout. Anyone who knows me and has played with me against me knows I play with a lot of energy. I’m blessed to be here. I’m right where I want to be, right where I’m supposed to be with the Cincinnati Reds.”

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