“I thought right from the beginning, he had an excellent fastball,” Reds manager David Bell said. “The velocity was there. He really attacked the hitters. He was ahead most of the day.”
Castillo got plenty of support from the Reds offense, which gave him a 5-0 lead in the first inning.
“It’s incredible just to see these guys hit,” Castillo said. “This team has been amazing to watch.”
Late runs: The Reds had a shutout until the ninth. Reliever Amir Garrett made his second appearance of the season and allowed the first three batters to reach. Then Erik Gonzalez hit a grand slam.
Garrett stayed on the mound and retired the next three batters, the last two by strikeout, to end the game.
Looking ahead: The Reds will spend their first off day of the season in Arizona on Thursday before starting a three-game series against the Diamondbacks at 9:45 p.m. Friday. Mahle (1-0, 3.60 ERA) will start the opener.
“We’re on a roll,” said Mahle before the game Wednesday, “and it’s fun to play baseball right now. I think everyone’s itching either to get on the mound or get out to the plate.”
Mahle earned the victory Saturday in his first start of the season as the Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-6. He allowed two earned runs, both on solo home runs by Paul DeJong.
“I would like to have had located my fastball a little better,” Mahle said. “That could have been adrenaline. So maybe I was trying to do too much. I think if my fastball location, especially up and in to righties, is a little better, that game is a little different. Maybe I don’t give up the two home runs. I want to stay where I’m at, but I also want to tighten the screws.”
Roster news: The Reds announced a five-man taxi squad for the series in Arizona: pitchers Heath Hembree and Art Warren; outfielder Mark Payton; infielder Max Schrock; and catcher Beau Taylor.
Tuesday’s game: The Reds beat the Pirates 14-1 on Tuesday night. Tyler Naquin went 3-for-4 with seven RBIs, tying Brandon Phillips, who had seven RBIs on July 30, 2015, against the Pirates, for most RBIs by a leadoff batter since the statistic became official in 1920.