Cincinnati Reds: New stars shine bright in Opening Day win

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 24: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 24: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Reds new faces account for six of the seven runs scored.

The Cincinnati Reds made an impressive statement in their 7-1 Opening Day victory over the Detroit Tigers. While Sonny Gray’s six-inning performance was quite impressive, Cincinnati’s new acquisitions showed up in a big way during their Reds debut.

The six-run differential was the franchise’s largest margin of victory on Opening Day since Cincinnati defeated the Colorado Rockies 11-4 to kick off the 1997 season. While the run total was the end result, the story was the performance of three of the team’s big free-agent signings, who put their imprint on the game by accounting for six of the team’s seven runs.

Mike Moustakas had a huge offensive game going 3-for-4 at the plate, with four RBIs and one run scored. His biggest hit was a towering two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning, moments after Travis Jankowski stole his first base as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.

Moustakas, who signed a four-year/$64M contract with Cincinnati last December, also flashed some serious leather while manning second base. After the game, Moustakas spoke with Jim Day about his epic Opening Day performance.

Nick Castellanos kicked off the team’s scoring in the first inning by recording an RBI after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. He picked up where he left off in 2019, when he led the league in doubles, by hitting his first double as a member of the Reds. Castellanos then scored on a Moustakas single.

Shogo Akiyama didn’t start the game for Cincinnati since the Tigers had left-handed starting pitcher Matthew Boyd on the mound. Akiyama did, however, make Reds history in the bottom of the sixth inning when he came in to pinch hit for Phillip Ervin.

Akiyama came off the bench to pinch-hit in the bottom of the sixth inning, becoming the first Japanese-born player to appear in a game for the Cincinnati Reds. The firsts kept coming for Akiyama when he ripped his first MLB single, plating shortstop Freddy Galvis for his first big-league RBI.

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The Reds start the season 1-0 thanks to standout performances by the team’s three newest stars. If Moustakas, Castellanos and Akiyama keep having games like they did on Opening Day, there will be plenty of bright days ahead for the 2020 version of the Cincinnati Reds.