CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Reds lost a tough one to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 3-1 in 13 innings on Opening Day of the MLB season for 2013.
Neither team had more than a handful of opportunities to put runs on the board during this four hour and 45 minute affair thanks to great pitching and anemic offense on both sides.
Angels catcher Chris lannetta shined, taking responsibility for all three of the Angels RBIs on his two hits. He got the scoring started in the third inning, taking a Johnny Cueto changeup that was too far over the strike zone for a home run to left-center field. It was the only mistake Cueto made in a 7 innings pitched, 3-hit, 9 strikeout performance.
See our game photos at http://www.wcpo.com/gallery/news/news_photo_gallery/opening-day-photos-angels-3-reds-1
The Reds fired right back in the bottom of the third by way of a fluke. Shin-Soo Choo doubled and was moved to third on a Brandon Phillips ground out. After an uncharacteristic Joey Votto ground out on a juicy fastball, Ryan Ludwick drew a walk to get to first. Just a few pitches later, Weaver threw one in the dirt that got away from Iannetta, and Choo raced home to even the score 1-1.
Some commotion took place at the plate as to whether or not Choo was safe, and as it did, Ludwick advanced from first to third, but not without sliding head first into third base. That slide led to a dislocated shoulder for Ludwick , and he left the game to be replaced by Chris Heisey. Ludwick will have an MRI Tuesday to determine the severity of the injury. Losing him leaves a gaping hole at the cleanup spot for the Reds if it is a long-term disabled list trip.
The teams wouldn't score again until the top of the 13th. Reliever J.J. Hoover (L, 0-1) got off to a bad start by walking Josh Hamilton. Hamilton reached second on a fielder's choice, and the Reds couldn't contain the damage even after getting a second out. An intentional walk was issued to Kendrick, and Hoover hit pinch-hitter Hank Conger, loading the bases for Chris Iannetta to finish the job he started. With a single through the left side of the infield, he did, making it 3-1 Angels.
"Not what you script for the first day going on," said Iannetta, who caught all 13 innings."It was a long day at that point. I'd had some pretty forgettable at-bats. I was just trying not to strike out."
The Reds had their chances. They loaded the bases in the bottom of the 8th inning with 1 out, but two straight strike outs by Chris Heisey and Jay Bruce shut the door on the Reds, which is also how the bottom of the 13th inning ended with Joey Votto on first base. Bruce struck out a total of four times in five at-bats.
The Reds had another shot in the bottom of the 11th with men on second and first with 1 out, but again, could not produce with runners on. They left 10 men on base, which wasn't as many as the Angels (12), but enough to seal their fate in game 1 of the 2013 regular season.
Jered Weaver and six Angels relievers held the Reds to just three hits, five walks and one hit batter, leaving the Redlegs with little opportunity to put anything across the board. Weaver was wild early on, but Reds batters were eager and swinging early on in the count, allowing Weaver to calm down and get great command on his breaking ball, and the relievers that followed didn't let the Reds on base.
Garrett Richards, who relieved Weaver in the 7th, was the only reliever to allow a hit, which came in the 8th inning, and the Reds' bats were locked down for the rest of the night.
Mark Lowe pitched two innings for the win.
Ernesto Frieri, the Angels' seventh pitcher, finished off the Reds' longest opening game since 1975, when they beat the Dodgers 2-1 in 14 innings.
On the flip side, the Reds bullpen held very well against this powerful Angels lineup, with Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman in typical shut down mode in the 8th and 9th. And even when Sam LeCure danced around the strike zone in extra innings and gave up a few walks, he got the job done under pressure. It was through walks and a hit batter that ended up costing Hoover late.
"That was a heck of an Opening Day game," Hoover said. "It would have been better if we'd have come out on top."
It was a nostalgic start to the season for Angels slugger Josh Hamilton, who started his comeback in Cincinnati on Opening Day 2007 after years of drug abuse.
Hamilton got a loud ovation from Reds fans. He went 0 for 4 with a pair of walks.
Albert Pujols got the opposite reception, with loud boos, and also failed to get a hit, leaving the Rangers with nothing out of their power spots.
NOTES: It was sunny and 47 degrees at the first pitch. The crowd of 43,168 was the largest at Great American Ball Park for a regular-season game... For the second straight season, an opener in Ohio went long. The Blue Jays beat the Indians 7-4 in 16 innings last year in Cleveland, the longest opener in major league history. ... Weaver became the first AL starter to bat on opening day since Pat Dobson (Orioles) and Mel
Stottlemyre Sr. (Yankees) in 1972. Weaver struck out twice, leaving Angels pitchers 1 for 29 all-time on opening day. ... The Angels are 30-23 in season openers, the Reds 66-70-1.
See our Opening Day Parade photos at http://www.wcpo.com/gallery/news/news_photo_gallery/our-reds-opening-day-parade-photos
Copyright Copyright AP Modified, Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Turns out the Reds actually are interested in trading their All Star second basemen.
Charlie Hustle, who famously flattened Ray Fosse to score the winning run in the 1970 All-Star game, couldn't believe Major League…
Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox, baseball's winningest managers over the past four decades, were unanimously elected to the Hall…
Despite a snowstorm, Reds fans flocked downtown to meet players past and present.
Cincinnati Reds fans, rejoice! Redsfest -- the team's annual winter warm-up for the baseball season -- is finally here.…
The Cincinnati Reds revealed Wednesday the names of the men who will serve as assistants under first-year skipper Bryan Price for the…
Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty says he has told Brandon Phillips he is not in talks to be traded.
Citing his own panic attacks and depression, Reds star Joey Votto has launched a foundation to support service members and families affected…
The Reds did Ryan Hanigan and themselves a favor by trading the veteran catcher to the Rays in a three-team deal Tuesday.
Three home-grown stars - Ken Griffey, Jr., Dave Parker and Ron Oester - will join Jake Beckley in the Reds Hall of Fame.