Top of Lineup Impresses Again as Cincinnati Reds Beat Cardinals, 5-4

33. 5. 61. . 4

WP: J.J. Hoover (2-0)

LP: Jordan Walden (0-1)

S: Aroldis Chapman (2)

Although it was a Friday Night Fireworks game at GABP tonight, Joey Votto also provided some in-game fireworks for the Cincinnati Reds’ fans. Votto had a first inning opposite field two-run home run after a Billy Hamilton lead-off walk. In the third inning, he hit a second two-run home run in almost the same location as the first. If there was even a tiny amount of doubt about Votto’s health, it is not questioned anymore, especially given that both homers tonight were to left field. He finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored, four RBI, one walk and a stolen base.

Hamilton continues to be a spark in the leadoff spot during the first week of the season. While he did not get a hit tonight, he did walk twice and played a huge part in scoring the go-ahead run in the eighth. After drawing a one-out walk, he stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. The Cardinals decided to intentionally walk Votto and then Frazier brought in Hamilton with a fly ball to right field. Given the strong throw from Jason Heyward, if it was any other player on third other than Hamilton, it would have probably been an inning-ending double play.

In his Reds’ debut, Jason Marquis had a tough first inning, but it could have been much worse. He escaped with only one run allowed. After that, he settled down, with 1-2-3 innings in the third, fourth and fifth. He allowed two hits in the sixth, but got out of the inning by striking out Yadier Molina and getting Kolten Wong to fly out. Despite the first inning, he ended up with a quality start, giving up three runs on five hits in six innings with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Other Notes:

  • Marquis also went 1-for-2 at the plate. He singled off St. Louis pitcher John Lackey in the third inning. According to a tweet by Enquirer beat writer C. Trent Rosecrans, it was Marquis’ 128th career hit, most among active pitchers in baseball.
  • J.J. Hoover got a key strikeout of Mark Reynolds to end the seventh inning. The game was tied 4-4 at the time and the Cardinals had two runners on base. He also pitched the eighth inning and allowed only one hit while striking out three.
  • Devin Mesoraco continues to struggle at the plate. He went 0-for-4 tonight and is now 1-16 to start the season.

Up Next: The Reds take on the Cardinals tomorrow at 1:10 p.m. ET in the second game of this weekend series. Johnny Cueto will make his second start of the season against the young hurler Michael Wacha.

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