Nick Castellanos sparks the Reds first win of the year

Nick Castellanos has said that for the Cincinnati Reds to have a successful season, they needed to be a close-knit team with a strong, deep lineup.

Then in the fourth inning on Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals, there was Castellanos flexing at home plate after scoring the Reds’ seventh run of the game. And then there was the Reds entire bench and bullpen running to home plate to back up Castellanos.

After losing on Opening Day, the Reds had a follow-up performance that matched their high internal expectations. The Reds beat the Cardinals 9-6, winning their first game of the season.

Just one inning before the skirmish on the field, the Reds were trailing. Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong hit a home run in the second, and Cincinnati’s first six hitters recorded outs.

After that, the Reds offense was at its best.

More:Why Cincinnati Reds coaches expect Nick Castellanos to have a big season

It began with a home run from catcher Tucker Barnhart. By the end of the third inning, shortstop Eugenio Suárez was running into the dugout giving high-fives to everyone in the area. In the third inning, the Reds hitters found holes in the infield like the Cardinals did on Opening Day.

Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart (16) celebrates after hitting a 2-run home run in the third inning of the MLB baseball game between Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Saturday, April 3, 2021.

After Barnhart’s home run, left fielder Jesse Winker beat the shift with a ground ball up the third base line. Later in the inning, third baseman Mike Moustakas beat the shift as well with a ground ball to left field. In the third, the Reds hit six singles on ground balls. Those hits led to four runs following Barnhart’s homer, including RBI from Suárez and Moustakas.

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