Naquin stars as Reds pound Pirates for 4th straight win
CINCINNATI (AP) — Tyler Naquin homered twice and drove in a career-high seven runs, helping the Cincinnati Reds pound the Pittsburgh Pirates 14-1 on Tuesday night for their fourth straight victory.
Rookie Jonathan India had three hits and four RBIs in Cincinnati’s latest offensive outburst. Tucker Barnhart and Nick Senzel also had three hits apiece.
The Reds set a franchise record with 46 runs in their first five games. The 1895 and 1976 teams scored 44 runs through five games.
“We have a long way to go but it’s been a really good start,” manager David Bell said. “We’re swinging the bats well but speed is coming into play. We are working at creating more opportunities to score runs.”
Cincinnati left-hander Wade Miley (1-0) pitched six scoreless innings in his first start of the year. He allowed two hits, struck out six and walked one.
Miley was limited to six appearances last season due to two separate stints on the injured list.
“I just tried to work fast,” Miley said. “The way we’re swinging the bats, I wanted to get them off the field as quick as possible.”
Naquin got the scoring started by launching Trevor Cahill’s fourth pitch of the game an estimated 454 feet for his first career leadoff homer.
“I wouldn’t want to put a ceiling on it, but I have hit a ball that far once in Cleveland,” Naquin said. “Just one time though.”
Naquin connected again in the second, making it 5-0 with a three-run shot. It was his third career multihomer game.
Naquin’s seven RBIs were the most by a Reds batter since Scooter Gennett had four homers and 10 RBIs on June 6, 2017, against the Cardinals. The Reds signed Naquin to a minor league deal in February.
“Tyler is a really good player,” Bell said. “He was a great pickup for us. He’s healthy, that’s the big thing.”
Cahill (0-1), who signed a one-year deal late in spring training, was tagged for seven runs and nine hits in four innings in his Pirates debut.
“He had an abbreviated spring training, that’s what we saw tonight,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “Just not finishing with his breaking balls.”
Mike Moustakas had two hits and scored two runs, helping the Reds to a season-high 17 hits.
“Hitting is contagious, pitching is contagious, winning is contagious,” Miley said. “We just want to keep the ball rolling.”
With the Reds off to a hot start, closer Amir Garrett wants to define the team’s identity.
“I want everybody to think that the Cincinnati Reds are the cockiest team ever,” Garrett said before Tuesday’s win. “We’re some bat flippin’, show boatin’, sons of guns and I want everybody to know that.”
Phillip Evans homered for Pittsburgh in the seventh. The utilityman then moved from right field to the mound and pitched a perfect eighth.
“I just tried to make their swings bigger, get them to fly out,” Evans said. “I just wanted to get us out of there.”
Evans is the first Pirates position player to pitch since catcher John Ryan Murphy on Aug. 8, 2020.
Reds: OF Jesse Winker is expected to return to the starting lineup on Wednesday. He has been sidelined by flu-like symptoms. He has not tested positive for COVID-19.
The Reds go for a three-game series sweep Wednesday. Right-hander Luis Castillo is looking to bounce back after allowing a career-high 10 runs in an 11-6 loss to the Cardinals on opening day. Right-hander Chad Kuhl starts for the Pirates. He earned a no-decision in a 5-3 season-opening win over the Cubs.
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