Ramirez slam, 6 RBIs; Kwan, Guardians nick Reds’ home opener
CINCINNATI (AP) — José Ramírez hit a grand slam and drove in six runs, remarkable rookie Steven Kwan reached base three more times and the Cleveland Guardians spoiled Cincinnati’s home opener by beating the Reds 10-5 Tuesday.
Kwan has now reached base at least three times in all five games of his major league career. The 24-year-old outfielder kept up his super start with a single, two walks and a sacrifice fly.
“He’s got his head screwed on tight,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said. “I checked some of his interviews, because I wanted to see. We’re pretty high on his ability to handle all this. That won’t be an issue.”
Kwan is batting 10 for 15 since making his debut on opening day. He has reached base in 18 of 24 plate appearances, the most times for any player in his first five games since 1901.
“As these records don’t feel real, I don’t think it’s going to settle in for a couple weeks,” Kwan said. “It’s all a culmination of the hard work over the years and it’s awesome to help contribute.”
Andrés Giménez hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the ninth inning off Hunter Strickland (0-1). Ramírez, who tripled and singled earlier, capped a six-run burst with his third career slam, connecting against Daniel Duarte for a 10-4 lead.
“Great comeback. Fighting back like that, you want to win that one,” Reds manager David Bell said.
Cleveland ace Shane Bieber retired the first 10 batters. He didn’t allow a hit until Jake Fraley doubled with one out in the sixth, starting a four-run rally that made it 4-all
“He’s always going to give his team a chance to win,” Reds outfielder Tyler Naquin said. “He threw the ball really well.”
Trevor Stephan (1-0) pitched one scoreless inning.
Kwan’s sacrifice fly and Ramírez’s two-run triple off Tyler Mahle made it 3-0 in the third. the score 3-0. Giménez added an RBI triple in the fourth.
Jonathan India hit a two-run double off Bieber in the sixth. Naquin’s two-run homer off reliever Anthony Gose tied it.
“Whenever you hit a homer it’s fun,” said Naquin. “It’s a game of momentum. We had it for a little bit but fell a little short.”
Tyler Stephenson threw out two runners attempting to steal in the first inning — Kwan and Ramírez — becoming the first Reds catcher to do so since Jason LaRue on July 17, 1999, vs. Colorado, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Members of the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals participated in pregame festivities on Tuesday. Quarterback Joe Burrow tossed the ceremonial first pitch to head coach Zac Taylor, and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase presented India with his National League Rookie of the Year award.
Guardians: Catcher Luke Maile who’s on the injured list with a strained left hamstring, could leave Arizona on Wednesday, work out Thursday and be available to play in Friday’s home opener against the Giants.
Reds: OF Tommy Pham left Tuesday’s game after injuring his right hand in a collision with CF Nick Senzel in the third inning. X-rays were negative. … RHP Luis Castillo was scheduled to throw 30-35 pitches in a bullpen session on Tuesday. Castillo is on the IL list with right shoulder soreness.
LHP Nick Lodolo, who the Reds selected seventh overall in the 2019 draft, will make his major league debut. RHP Triston McKenzie (0-1, 6.00) is scheduled to start for Cleveland.
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