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Joey Votto homers, but Reds fall to Angels 5-1 in series opener

Reds drop third game in a row.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles Angels Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Joey Votto clubbed a 410 foot homer over the wall early off lefty Andrew Heaney, and later added a walk. In a game when the rest of the Cincinnati Reds roster couldn’t quite figure out the Los Angeles Angels well enough, that was the lone true highlight - and Votto later added a walk, because of course he did.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Eugenio Suarez, who doubled and walked twice; and to both Jared Hughes and Matt Bowman, who each fired a scoreless inning of relief.

Key Plays

  • Votto turned around a 2-1 meatball from Angels starter Andrew Heaney in the Top of the 1st, belting it over the head of Mike Trout and out for a solo dinger. That put the Reds ahead early, 1-0.
  • That lead lasted not, however, as Tommy La Stella led off the Bottom of the 1st with a dinger of his own. Not a conventional dinger, however - this one clamored off the glove of Nick Senzel as he jumped at the wall in CF to keep it in the park, and kicked away far enough to allow La Stella to round the bags for an inside-the-park dinger. Game tied, 1-1.
  • Tyler Mahle was in pasta mode on the night, unfortunately, serving up meatballs left and right. He allowed a 105 mph laser off the bat of Albert Pujols for a single to open the Bottom of the 2nd, and after a walk to David Fletcher, Luis Rengifo - he of a career .403 slugging percentage across all levels of his professional career - turned around yet another one for a 3-run dinger over the wall in right-center, and the Reds trailed 4-1.
  • If you were still awake and watching at 12:30 AM ET or so, you saw the Angels score another run, although it wasn’t of the conventional variety, either. Wilfredo Tovar had come on as a pinch-runner and was at 2B, and Shohei Ohtani lifted a deep fly ball to LF that was caught for an out by Jose Peraza. The 2nd out, though Peraza appeared to think there were 3. Tovar tagged to take 3B, and motored home when it took Peraza a few seconds to realize what the heck was going on. Reds trailed, 5-1, which was how this one wrapped.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Eugenio Suarez was thrown out between 3B and home for the final out of the Top of the 1st. Then, Jose Peraza was picked off 1B in the Top of the 2nd. Baserunning has not been a strength of this particular vintage of Reds, but hoo boy, TOOTBLANs sure have been en vogue.
  • Speaking of ‘thrown out,’ both Yasiel Puig and David Bell were tossed by home plate umpire Kerwin Danley in the Top of the 6th, specifically after Puig K’d and immediately questioned the ball/strike calls of Danley. No happy happy, no joy joy.
  • Tyler Mahle missed spots early and often in this one. His final line: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K on 103 pitches.
  • It’s a bit of an odd start time for the finale of this quick two-game series tomorrow, with first pitch set for 8:07 PM ET despite the getaway day and weeezt coast locale. Tanner Roark will toe the rubber for the Reds, while the Angels still do not have a starter officially listed on MLB dot com as of yet.
  • Tunes. RIP, Jeff Austin.