A number of Cincinnati Reds fans brought brooms to Great American Ball Park on Wednesday.
They started waving them when Tyler Naquin hit the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning into the stands in left field. They kept waving them as the Reds added four more runs in that inning. They waved them when Nick Castellanos hit his fourth home run of the season. They waved them as starter Luis Castillo blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates for seven innings. They waved them when Tyler Stephenson and Aristides Aquino hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning.
The brooms flew again when Amir Garrett ended an 11-4 victory with a strikeout as the Reds completed a three-game sweep and won their fifth straight game. It’s early, but the Reds have been spectacular — especially at the plate — and dominant.
The Reds have scored 57 runs, the most the franchise has ever scored in the first six games.
“It’s awesome,” said Reds outfielder Kyle Farmer, who drove in two runs with a double in the first. “It starts with the energy in the clubhouse from the older guys on our team. Guys are hot right now. Everyone is rolling well. Hitting is contagious. It’s a lot of fun to watch.”
The last time the Reds started 5-1 in 2016, they lost six of their next seven games. Of course, that team only scored 31 runs in its first six games. This team is on pace to score 1,539 runs in the 162-game season. They won’t score that many — no Reds team has topped 865 since 1900 — but they’ve shown the potential to be a powerful offense.
The standouts are everywhere. Naquin hit his second straight lead-off home run Wednesday and is tied with Nick Castellanos for the big-league lead with four home runs. Naquin ranks second in baseball with 13 RBIs. He had seven in a 14-1 victory against the Pirates on Tuesday.
Jonathan India drove in three runs. He drove in 10 runs in his first six big-league games. That tied him for the fifth highest total through six career games in baseball history.
“Look at our team, man,” India said. “They can hit — everyone from top to bottom, even our pitchers. I know I’m getting up with runners on in every inning, and it’s the best feeling when you have runners on.”
Of the 10 Reds to get at least 10 at-bats in the first six games, only two aren’t hitting above .300: Joey Votto (5-for-25, .200); and Eugenio Suarez (2-for-18, .111). Castellanos (10-for-23, .435) and India (10-for-21, .476) are swinging the hottest bats, though a number of teammates are on their heels.
Now the Reds will try to keep the momentum going as they take their first road trip of the season. They start a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday and then play three games against the San Francisco Giants.
“They’ve all been through this before,” Reds manager David Bell said. “They understand the intensity is good. The determination to win games is there. By no means, do I sense any sort of let-up. Guys are way too smart for that. They know what’s ahead of us. It’s important to play well for sure. The challenge in any season is to keep that going and work toward the consistency, but it is OK to be excited and feel good about how we played and feel good about how we started.”
Reds at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m., Bally Sports Ohio, 700, 1410
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