CINCINNATI (AP) — Closer Raisel Iglesias took the flip from Joey Votto, stepped on first base and raised both arms in triumph. The lights at Great American Ball Park flashed in celebration.
The Reds had a win. Finally!
Jesse Winker’s bases-loaded single provided Cincinnati’s first lead in six games, and the Reds — off to the worst start in their history — rallied for their first victory under interim manager Jim Riggleman on Monday night, 10-4 over the Atlanta Braves.
“We’ve been having a hard time,” said Riggleman, now 1-3. “We got down again, but we got it going.”
The Reds are 4-18, the worst start in the majors since Baltimore opened with an identical mark in 2010. They fired manager Bryan Price on Thursday and got swept in a three-game series at St. Louis under Riggleman.
The smallest crowd at Great American Ball Park in nine years — 9,463 — saw the Reds get only their second win at home and match their season high in runs.
Cincinnati’s offense came in with the fewest runs and homers in the majors, but sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth inning while scoring five times. Sam Freeman (0-1) loaded the bases with no outs, and Winker’s single off Peter Moylan broke a 2-2 tie. Jose Peraza followed with another single, and Scooter Gennett’s two-run single completed the rally.
“It seemed like we were in a situation where nothing was going our way,” Gennett said. “It’s about time our offense came around.”
Freeman has made 14 appearances, tied for the major league lead. Manager Brian Snitker thinks he needs some time off.
“I’m not concerned other than the fact that we’ve used him a lot,” Snitker said. “We’ve been leaning hard on him.”
Sal Romano (1-2) allowed four hits in six innings, including Nick Markakis’ homer. Markakis added a two-run single in the eighth, but Iglesias got the last four outs for his third save.
Mike Foltynewicz allowed three hits in 4 2/3 innings, including Scott Schebler’s homer that tied it at 2 in the fifth. The two-run shot snapped Cincinnati’s streak of six games without a homer. The Reds have only 12 homers this season — fewest in the majors — despite playing in one of its most homer-friendly ballparks.
Foltynewicz threw 103 pitches. He’s lasted six innings only once this season.
“It’s a little embarrassing,” he said.
WHO’S BATTING FIRST?
Schebler batted leadoff for the first time this season and only the second time in two years, with slumping Billy Hamilton dropped to ninth.
“We’re 3-and-whatever-we are,” Riggleman said pregame. “We’ve got to try anything here a little bit.”
PRICE SAYS THANKS
Price issued his first public comment since the firing, thanking the team for the opportunity to manage. He also thanked the players, coaches, trainers and clubhouse staff “that stayed connected, worked tirelessly together, and who collectively faced challenging times head-on.”
Romano made a barehand grab of Ozzie Albies’ comeback grounder in the sixth and threw him out. He stayed in after a visit from the trainer.
Foltynewicz extended his streak to nine straight starts allowing three earned runs or fewer, the longest of his career.
The Reds released right-hander Barrett Astin, who was invited to spring training on a non-roster basis. Astin pitched in six games for Cincinnati last season, giving up eight runs in six innings.
Braves: Jose Bautista has joined Triple-A Gwinnett as he works on his swing. Bautista, 37, signed a one-year deal April 18 and reported to extended spring training. He’ll make $1 million if added to the 40-man roster. Snitker said he’ll play third base when he joins the club. “I don’t think he’ll need that much (time),” Snitker said. “He’s in such great game and game-ready shape.”
Reds: RH reliever David Hernandez is throwing 20 to 25 pitches during his rehab appearances for Triple-A Louisville. He started the season on the DL with a sore right shoulder.
Braves: Brandon McCarthy (3-0) has allowed only two homers in 21 2/3 innings this season. He’s 1-2 career against the Reds in four games with an 8.78 ERA.
Reds: Tyler Mahle (1-3) has lost his last three starts, allowing 12 runs and 25 hits in 15 innings. He’s making his first career appearance against the Braves.
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