Big-league debut: Shogo Akiyama didn’t earn the start on his first Opening Day with the Reds but made history as a pinch hitter.
Akiyama became the first Japanese player to appear in a game for the Reds when he singled to drive in Freddy Galvis with two outs in the sixth. The hit extended Cincinnati’s lead to 5-1. Akiyama stayed in the game to play left field.
“It was unfortunate I couldn’t play from the beginning,” Akiyama said through an interpreter, “but from Arizona to here, I wasn’t able to hit lefties, and that’s why I was utilized in this role.”
Postgame scene: Nick Castellanos went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a walk in his Reds debut. Travis Jankowski pinch ran for Castellanos and stayed in the game to play right field.
After the game, Castellanos didn’t return to the clubhouse with his teammates but walked to right field and paced back and forth for 20 minutes, talking to coach Jeff Pickler for some of that time. Then Pickler started hitting him fly balls. David Bell even came out at one point to talk to Castellanos as he practiced.