Fraley, Newman, India homer to lift the Reds over Pirates
CINCINNATI (AP) — Jake Fraley came off the bench to hit a three-run homer, Kevin Newman had a two-run shot against his former team and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 on Saturday.
Jonathan India added a solo homer and Nick Lodolo overcame a challenging first inning as Cincinnati snapped an eight-losing streak to Pittsburgh that dated to last season, when both teams lost 100 games.
Fraley’s second career pinch-hit homer in the sixth off right-hander Chase De Jong reached the visitors’ bullpen down the right-field line.
The only timer violation in the game led to Pittsburgh first baseman Carlos Santana leading off the fifth with an automatic strike against him.
Lodolo (1-0) needed 109 pitches to navigate five innings. The Pirates reached the second-year lefty for seven hits and two runs. He finished with nine strikeouts and two walks.
Lodolo retired seven of the last eight batters he faced. Ian Gibaut, Buck Farmer and Reiver Sanmartin combined to retire the final 12 Pirates batters.
Rich Hill (0-1), who turned 43 in March, began his 19th season with his 12th major league team. He allowed three runs and three hits with seven strikeouts and two walks in five innings. Hill joined Pittsburgh as a free agent in January.
After the Pirates took a 1-0 lead during Lodolo’s 35-pitch first inning, India hit Hill’s fourth pitch for his eighth career leadoff home run. The 2021 NL Rookie of Year is one shy of Reds Hall of Famer Barry Larkin and two short of matching the club record set by Kal Daniels.
Newman, acquired in a November trade, followed later in the first with a two-run drive that caromed off the façade of the second deck in left field for a 3-1 lead.
Pirates: Former Reds RHP Robert Stephenson (right elbow inflammation) threw 15 pitches in one inning on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis in its season opener Thursday.
Reds: 1B Joey Votto (left shoulder, biceps surgery last August) was scheduled to play first base in Game 1 and be the designated hitter in Game 2 of Triple-A Louisville’s season-opening doubleheader at Nashville caused by a rainout of Thursday’s scheduled opener. Votto is on a rehab assignment.
RHP Vince Velasquez is scheduled to make his Pirates debut in the series finale Sunday against Graham Ashcraft.
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The Associated Press