Reds turn back Tigers, 7-1, to win first game of shortened 2020 season

Gov. Mike DeWine threw out the virtual ceremonial first pitch at Great American

Reds turn back Tigers, 7-1, to win first game of shortened 2020 season
Opening Day 2020 at Great American Ballpark. Cincinnati Reds vs. Detroit Tigers. (Mike Hartsock/WHIO)

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Reds scored first and broke open a close game late to take the Opening Day win over the Detroit Tigers, 7-1, at Great American Ballpark.

“For everyone, I’m sure, even watching from home it’s different. That’s what we’re faced with and everyone sees it as such a positive thing to be able to do this,” Reds manager David Bell said after the game.

“The team that we have is making it so enjoyable. You think about it for a second, it’s different…it’s a little bit weird and then you just get into the game,” he said. “That’s our goal, that’s our challenge and so far, so good.”

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New addition Mike Moustakas had three hits and four RBI - including a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh. Veteran Joey Votto knocked two hits, one of which was his first homer of the coronavirus-shortened season.

The Reds and Tigers play again Saturday. the first pitch is scheduled for 5:10 p.m.

EARLIER REPORT

For decades, it has been a tradition: the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day parade. Of course, it’s a tradition that usually happens in the Spring.

This year, there is no parade, and Gov. Mike DeWine delivered the virtual ceremonial first pitch -- from Cedarville University:

He traveled from his home in Greene County to Cedarville University on Thursday morning to record videos for the Reds and Cleveland (the Indians have a home opener today as well, against the Kansas City Royals at 7:10 p.m.). University baseball coach Mike Manes worked with the school’s public relations team to coordinate the opportunity.

This week, DeWine told The Athletic.com, “I’m going to bring some of the grandchildren and see if I can throw it from Cedarville to Cincinnati.”

The governor said the only other time he threw out the opening day pitch for Cincinnati was about 10 years ago.

"I won't say I threw a strike, but (Jason) LaRue caught it and it didn't hit the ground. That's my story anyway," he said..

During the recording session, he also provided a statewide greeting with enthusiasm for the return of baseball in Ohio.

The Reds play the Detroit Tigers, with the start of the game scheduled to begin at 6:10 p.m.

Though there won’t be fans in the stands, the Reds have plans to have Great American Ballpark at 20% capacity at some point this year if Major League Baseball and health officials approve.

Not to get lost in the strangeness of this shortened season, the Reds are expected to contend.

That’s also an unusual position as the Reds have had several years of rebuilding. This year, feeling the team was on the verge of contending, management signed several players, including Mike Moustakas and Nicholas Castellanos.

This year, the season will be 60 games instead of 162, and it was announced Thursday that 16 of MLB’s 30 teams will make the playoffs.

Tonight, Sonny Gray will start for the Reds. Matthew Boyd will start for the Tigers.

One more thing that will be missing opening day: the pitcher hitting. MLB decided in this shortened season to have a DH for the entire league.

Click here for the full Reds’ schedule.