So much for that rebuilding year.
Longtime Cincinnati Reds staples Zack Cozart, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce combined to drive in five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to help the home team rally for a 6-2 Opening Day victory Monday before a crowd of 43,683 that was the largest to ever see a regular-season game at Great American Ball Park.
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Cozart had the only three hits for the Reds and scored the team’s lone run through the first six innings as Philadelphia took a 2-1 lead to the bottom of the eighth. But his bases-loaded sacrifice fly tied the game, and Votto’s two-run single to center won it.
Bruce added a two-run single to account for the final margin.
J.J. Hoover pitched a perfect ninth thanks to diving catches by Tyler Holt in left and Billy Hamilton in center, making a winner of new Reds reliever Ross Ohlendorf.
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Cincinnati starter Raisel Igelsias went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. The two runs came on a home run by Freddy Galvis that gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second, and that’s how the score stayed until the Reds rallied in the eighth.
The two teams will resume their three-game series Wednesday night.
End of the Eighth Inning update: Zack Cozart tied the game with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly and Joey Votto and Jay Bruce followed with two-run singles to give the Reds a 6-2 lead heading to the ninth inning.
End of the Seventh Inning upate: The day is done for Philadelphia starter Jeremy Hellickson, but the struggles go on for the Cincinnati bats.
Philadelphia reliever Jeanmar Gomez set the Reds down in order in the bottom of the seventh to preserve a 2-1 Phillies lead.
Phillies pitchers have retired 20 of the last 22 Cincinnati hitters. Reds leadoff hitter Zack Cozart is 3 for 3 today, but no other Cincinnati batter has a hit.
End of the Sixth Inning update: Zack Cozart’s hot start continues, but so does Joey Votto’s slow one.
Cozart ripped a one-out double to left field to go 3 for 3 on the day, but he was stranded there when Votto struck out for the third time today to keep the Reds in a 2-1 hole against Philadelphia.
Cozart has all three of the Reds hits off Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson.
Cincinnati starter Raisel Iglesias’ day is done. He went six innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs with seven strikeouts and no walks.
End of the Fifth Inning update: The Cincinnati Reds continue to struggle at the plate as they go down in order in the fifth.
Zack Cozart has the only two hits of the day for the Reds, who trail Philadelphia 2-1.
Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson has struck out five and walked none.
End of the Fourth Inning update: Both teams go down in order in the fourth, and the score remains 2-1 Philadelphia.
The Phillies will send hitters 9-1-2 to the plate in the fifth against Cincinnati starter Raisel Iglesias.
End of the Third Inning update: Zack Cozart ended Philadelphia pitcher Jeremy Hellickson’s string of seven consecutive batters retired with a single to right, but Eugenio Suarez grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Cozart is 2 for 2 with the only two hits of the game for the Reds, who trail 2-1.
The Phillies have five hits against Cincinnati starter Raisel Iglesias.
End of the Second Inning update: Philadelphia shortstop Freddy Galvis launched a two-out, two-run homer to right to put the Phillies in front 2-1 in the top of the second, and the Reds went down in order in the bottom half.
Galvis’ blast scored Cedric Hunter, who had singled.
Philadelphia pitcher Jeremy Hellickson has retired the last six Cincinnati hitters he has faced.
End of the First Inning update: The Cincinnati Reds opened their offensive season the same way the Philadelphia did with a double. But unlike the Phillies, the Reds cashed in Zack Cozart’s leadoff hit for a run and 1-0 lead.
Cozart was advancing to third on Eugenio Suarez’s grounder to shortstop, but when Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard dropped the throw, Cozart rolled around third for the first run of the 2016 season.
Joey Votto (strikeout), Brandon Phillips (fly out) and Jay Bruce (groundout) failed to tack anything on, and the game is headed to the second inning.
The 2016 Cincinnati Reds season is underway with a scoreless top of the first inning after starter pitcher Raisel Iglesias worked out of a jam.
Philadelphia’s Cesar Hernandez led off the game with a ground-rule double, but Iglesias got a strikeout, fly out and groundout to strand Hernandez at second.
Zack Cozart, Eugenio Suarez and Joey Votto are due up for the Reds in the bottom of the first.