Surging Reds want to spoil Diamondbacks’ home opener | Field level

The consensus is that during a 162-game season, there is never a bad time to have a day off. The Cincinnati Reds could be different.

After a day off, the glowing Reds will take to the field for the Arizona Diamondbacks home opener in Phoenix on Friday.

Cincinnati’s first road trip of the season puts the club on a five-game winning streak. The Reds have already run into double digits three times, averaging 9.5 runs per game, while winning all but the season opener last week against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Rookie Jonathan India beats 10 RBIs to 0.476 in his first six career games. Nick Castellanos and Tyler Naquin each have four home runs. Castellanos has a total of 26 bases and even triggered a fight with the Cardinals in the season opening series, which earned him a two-game suspension. He appeals for punishment.

“It’s amazing,” said India. “We play with our hearts the energy we have in this locker room and on this team. We play with a lot of pride. We’re just a bunch of ballers out there, that’s the bottom line. We know how to play baseball.”

The Reds went into their day off, topping baseball on batting average (.316), slugging percentage (.602), OPS (1,002), home runs (14) and RBIs (54). And it came without much production from six-time all-star Joey Votto, who is 5 against 25 early and doesn’t have an extra base hit.

Even with starters Sonny Gray and Michael Lorenzen on the list of injured at the beginning of the season, the Reds managed an ERA of 3.83 teams, which is in the middle of the field below all MLB teams.

Right-hander Tyler Mahle (1-0, 3.60 ERA) will celebrate his second start to the season after giving up two runs with three hits with nine strokes over five innings of his debut against the Cardinals on Wednesday. Mahle made a career appearance against Arizona and allowed five runs over 4 1/3 innings in 2019.

The Diamondbacks, who are not exactly satisfied with 5-2 at the beginning of the season, will send right-handed Taylor Widener (1-0, 0.00) up the hill on Friday.

Widener, who had never competed against the Reds, scored three goals over six goalless innings in his first Major League start on Sunday against the San Diego Padres. It was the rare impressive start to the rotation in Arizona.

After Widener had completed twelve reliefs at the beginning of his career in the Major League last season, he showed that he would like a starting role. He knocked out five batters in San Diego.

While Arizona startup staff underperform, so does the offense. The Diamondbacks were suspended in Colorado on Wednesday and held the following day by Jon Gray of the Rockies in a 7-3 loss in the seventh inning without a hit.

Arizona put infielder / outfielder Ketel Marte (thigh) on their injured list on Thursday to join shortstop Nick Ahmed (knee).

“Obviously if Ketel goes down it stings,” said Stephen Vogt, the Diamondbacks catcher. “You know, we still feel like we have the people in the room that we’re going to gather around each other and ascend.”

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