The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Eugenio Suarez has been absolutely on fire during the first week of Cactus League play, and the presumed Cincinnati Reds Opening Day 3B didn't slow down against the San Francisco Giants on Friday afternoon. Henny-O blasted a solo homer - already his fourth extra-base hit of Spring Training - and reached base via a HBP in his only other plate appearance.
Suarez has large shoes to fill after the trade of Todd Frazier, but after a solid debut season with the Reds and a blistering start to his 2016 preseason, perhaps it's not too much to ask of him. Have a trophy, Eugenio, and here's to many more.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Michael Lorenzen, who was perfect through 2 IP with 2 Ks in his first start of Spring Training; Tim Adleman, who threw a clean inning in relief (that also featured 2 Ks); Aristides Aquino, who poked a triple; Hector Vargas, who did, too; and Chris O'Grady, who continued his strong start in Reds camp with another perfect inning in relief.
- Suarez wasted little time getting the Reds out in front as he took 2014 Superman Madison Bumgarner deep for a solo dinger in the Bottom of the 1st. Reds led, 1-0.
- The Giants leveled in the Top of the 3rd off Tim Melville thanks in part to an error in RF by Yorman Rodriguez. Conor Gillaspie lined a double to RF to lead off the inning, and Yorman's bobble allowed him to take 3B with nobody out. Two batters later Gillaspie motored home on a productive ground-out off the bat of Gorkys Hernandez. Game tied, 1-1.
- Things stayed tied until the Top of the 6th, at which point the Giants strung together a flurry of hits against touted Reds prospect Amir Garrett. Hernandez led off with a walk and then moved to 2B on a single by Kelby Tomlinson. Both runners moved up on a ground-out from Joe Panik, and both then scored on a single up the middle by Ehire Adrianza. Adrianza took 2B on the unsuccessful throw home, and he then scored when Jarrett Parker singled to LF. Reds trailed, 4-1.
- The Reds got back to offense in the Bottom of the 8th thanks to back to back triples off the bats of Aquino and Vargas, the latter's scoring the former. Tucker Barnhart then singled to bring Vargas across the plate, but the rally then fizzled as a 6-4-3 double play on a Blake Trahan grounder ended the inning. Reds trailed, 4-3.
- That, unfortunately, was all she wrote for the Reds run at an undefeated 2016. Reds lost, 4-3.
- Yorman Rodriguez is hitless with an error through the first four games of Cactus League play. Being out of options may help him have a shot at making the Opening Day roster, but so far his play hasn't boosted his chances whatsoever.
- Joey Votto did not face the Giants today. He still walked twice.
- On Friday, the Giants announced that former Reds ace Johnny Cueto would miss his first scheduled start of Spring Training on Saturday as they attempt to "monitor his workload." That's hardly good news, though it's basically what the Reds have done with Raisel Iglesias so far in Goodyear.
- The Reds will hit the road for Mesa on Saturday for their first real road game of Cactus League play. They'll take on the Chicago Cubs, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM ET. Brandon Finnegan is scheduled to take the hill for the Reds in his first start of the spring (though he pitched an inning in relief earlier this week). It won't be televised, however, so you'll have to tune in to 700 WLW for the action.