There are two pitch clocks, one on each side of the backstop, at Great American Ball Park, always counting down from 20. They are easy to spot. Most of the time Thursday on Opening Day, pitchers didn’t wait until the final seconds to deliver the pitch.
Cincinnati Reds starter Hunter Greene committed the only violation of the game — one of 14 across Major League Baseball in 15 games. Greene had an 0-and-2 count on Oneil Cruz in the second inning with the Reds leading the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0 when he committed a violation.
“(Catcher) Tyler (Stephenson) and I were going back and forth on signs, and I didn’t get to it quick enough,” Green said. “Hopefully, it doesn’t happen again. But if it does happen, we’re still in a really good place with making that adjustment on those new changes.”
Cruz hit a home run later in the at-bat to tie the game.
Asked if the pitch clock violation threw him off, Greene said, “It probably looked that way. For me personally, I felt like I was locked in other than just a couple pitches that got away from me. But overall I was very present.”
Greene allowed three earned runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings. He struck out eight and allowed five hits with one walk. He left the game as his pitch count climbed to 83. The Pirates won 5-4 after scoring on a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.
The Reds and Pirates were off Friday and will resume their three-game series at 4:10 p.m. Saturday. Nick Lodolo will start for the Reds against Rich Hill. In the final game of the series at 1:40 p.m. Sunday, Graham Ashcraft will get the ball for the Reds and oppose Vince Velasquez.
Manager David Bell said Greene was maybe a “tick off” his game after the violation.
“I think were pretty used to the pitch clock going through spring training and Hunter’s very focused and strong mentally,” Bell said. “I’ve seen him do it before and get right right back on track and make a good pitch. So I really don’t think that had anything to do with it. I did have the thought, and maybe it’s something I’ll talk to him about, but I really don’t think it affected him.”
Pirates at Reds, 4:10 p.m., Bally Sports Ohio, 700, 1410
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