For the first time since 1990, the Cincinnati Reds opened the season on the road, and they as they did 32 years ago, they came out on top, this time defeating the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves 6-3.
Newcomer Brandon Drury connected for a three-run homer in support of starter Tyler Mahle (1-0), who limited the Braves to three hits and one unearned run over five innings. Mahle struck out seven and walked two in winning his first career Opening Day assignment.
Tony Santillan pitched a perfect ninth inning to record his first career save.
Max Fried (0-1) took the loss, making his first appearance since earning the win in the World Series clincher against the Astros last November. The lefty allowed eight hits and five runs over 5 2/3 innings.
The Reds took advantage of several softly struck but very well-placed hits and one inning of uncharacteristic wildness from Fried, who opened the game striking out three of the first four batters he faced.
Tyler Stephenson was hit on the foot with one out in the second. Nick Senzel singled softly to center before Kyle Farmer singled to left to put the Reds up 1-0. The Reds made it 3-0 in the third when Fried loaded the bases with none out. Joey Votto singled home a run and Stephenson drove in another with a sacrifice fly.
The Braves responded in the third when Austin Riley singled to third with a runner on second. Drury’s throw hit Riley, allowing Eddie Rosario to score.
The Reds answered in the sixth, knocking Fried from the game. With runners on first and second, Drury connected for a three-run homer off reliever Collin McHugh for a five-run lead.
The Braves cut the Cincinnati lead to 6-3 in the eighth when Riley connected for a two-run homer off reliever Dauri Moreta. The rookie reliever settled down and retired the next three batters.
Drury is part of the new-look Reds, who overhauled one-third of their starting lineup by letting Nick Castellanos walk in free agency and trading away Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez.
For only the third time since 1890, the Reds opened on the road. They lost in Philadelphia in 1966 when a scheduled three-game series vs Mets at Crosley Field was rained out.
The last time Cincinnati opened as the visiting team, they beat Houston 8-4 in the first of nine straight wins to begin the season. The Reds went wire-to-wire and won the 1990 World Series.
–Field Level Media