Nick Martini belts 2 HRs as Reds top Nationals

League: MLB

Posted on: 29 Mar, 2024 at 04:07 AM

Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Martini homered twice and drove in five while starter Frankie Montas threw six shutout innings to lead the Cincinnati Reds to an 8-2 win over the visiting Washington Nationals in the traditional season opener in Cincinnati.

Spencer Steer doubled, singled, scored twice and had two RBIs for the Reds, who won their home opener for the first time since 2020, and their first in front of a crowd since 2019 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Eddie Rosario broke up the shutout bid in the seventh with a two-run homer to right off reliever Emilio Pagan.

Martini, making his first Opening Day start at the age of 33, drilled a pitch from Nationals starter Josiah Gray 405 feet to the seats in right to cap Cincinnati's three-run second inning.

The Martini homer marked the sixth straight season Cincinnati homered in the season opener, matching a run from 1986-1991 for the second-longest such streak in franchise history. The Reds clubbed homers in 10 straight openers from 1963-72.

Martini, the designated hitter, added to his memorable day in next inning when he reached the third row of seats in right-center with Spencer Steer and Elly De La Cruz aboard to expand Cincinnati's lead to 7-0.

It marked the second two-homer game of his career and the first two-homer game by a Cincinnati player on Opening Day since Adam Dunn in 2007 against the Chicago Cubs.

Montas (1-0) also had a day to remember in his first Cincinnati opener. He allowed just four hits over six shutout innings, striking out four and walking none.

Gray (0-1) tossed a scoreless first inning, striking out the final two batters of the frame before getting tagged for seven runs over the next two innings.

In his first Opening Day start, Gray, a former Reds pitching prospect, was charged with seven runs on eight hits, striking out six and walking two in four innings.

Facing his former team, Jesse Winker singled off Montas in the first inning. But the Nationals left fielder was thrown out by right fielder Jake Fraley at second trying to extend it to a double.

Another former Red, Nick Senzel, was in the original starting lineup at third base but was scratched an hour before first pitch. The team announced he broke his right thumb in practice before the game.

--Field Level Media