The Cincinnati Reds returned home Monday for the start of their longest homestand yet in 2018. Perfect weather greeted them for the opener of a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers. The temperature is expected to be 72 degrees at 7:10 p.m. when the first pitch is thrown.
For a team drawing comparisons to some of the worst teams in baseball history midway through the first month, a series victory on the road against the Minnesota Twins last weekend made it easy to forget the 7-21 record — still the worst in baseball by a half game — at least for a day.
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Interim manager Jim Riggleman, who’s 4-6 since he took over for Bryan Price, praised the team’s aggressive play in Minneapolis.
“Bryan Price gave a great message every day in spring training and early in the season,” Riggleman said. “He could not have been more clear. ‘Look, we’ve got to do this. We’ve got to do that. We’ve got to play with aggression. We’ve got to play smart.’ All the right things were said, and for whatever reason, we were not executing. In some cases, maybe we still don’t execute, but we’ve hit and that covers up some mistakes. I’ve just been really happy with the way the club gets after it. They’ve been running balls out really well. They’ve been swinging the bat and keeping some rallies going with some walks, so we’ve been playing pretty good.”
Riggleman batted Jesse Winker in the lead-off spot Monday for the sixth time in seven games. Winker leads the Reds with a .415 on-base percentage. He has reached base in his last 15 appearances.
“It’s kind of what I wanted and what I expected to do,” Winker said, “but you just kind of keep going. I’ve said this from the beginning: it’s a really good lineup behind me. Leading off, they make it easy for me. With Joey (Votto) in the three spot, you’re going to see a lot of good pitches to hit, so I try to be a tough out.”