Reds happy to be heading home to face Indians

MLB

A return home might be what the Cincinnati Reds need to get back on track from a rough road trip. However, they haven’t had much success in recent years against the Cleveland Indians, the club they are about to face.

The Reds aim for a sixth straight home victory Friday night in the opener of a three-game set vs. the Indians.

Cincinnati averaged 9.5 runs, batted .320 and posted an OPS of 1.006 while going 5-1 against the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates on a memorable opening homestand. However, the Reds followed by totaling 18 runs, getting shut out twice and batting .206 with a .612 OPS during a 2-4 road trip to face the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants.

They managed just 16 hits while losing two of three to the Giants. Four of those hits came Wednesday during a series-ending, 3-0 defeat.

“I’m confident that we’re not going to have too many games like that with our offense,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said.

A return home could be of some good for a couple of Reds.

Nick Castellanos went 10-for-23 (.435) with four homers and seven RBIs over the opening homestand but 5-for-26 (.192) without a home run and one RBI during the road trip. Rookie Jonathan India was 2-for-15 (.133) with one RBI on the trip after going 10-for-21 (.476) with 10 RBIs in the six home games to open his major league career.

Dating to July 2018, Cincinnati has totaled 27 runs, hit .196 and struck out 121 times while losing 10 of its last 12 versus Cleveland. The Reds managed just five runs and were shut out in each of the last two meetings while going 1-3 against the Indians in 2020.

They’ll get their first look at scheduled Indians starter Logan Allen (1-1, 2.70 ERA). The left-hander gone five innings in each of his first two starts and yielded all three of his runs over the first two innings of those outings. Allen also has walked five in 10 innings.

Cleveland arrives in Cincinnati having just split a four-game road set against the Chicago White Sox. One day after being no-hit by Carlos Rodon, the Indians bounced back with a 4-2 victory on Thursday.

“We were kind of at the point where we’ll take anything,” said Indians manager Terry Francona, whose team totaled nine runs in the four-game series.

Jose Ramirez belted a two-run, go-ahead homer in the sixth inning Thursday. It was his only hit over 21 at-bats during the past six games. Ramirez is batting just .227 with 16 strikeouts in 28 career games versus Cincinnati but has homered seven times against the Reds.

Franmil Reyes, the Indians’ regular designated hitter who could see time in the outfield during this series, went 0-for-13 against the White Sox after batting .333 with four homers and seven RBIs in the first eight games. Reyes homered for one of his two hits in eight at-bats at Cincinnati in 2020.

The Indians have never faced scheduled Reds starter Jeff Hoffman (1-1, 3.86 ERA), who allowed a run while striking out six without a walk in five innings against St. Louis on April 4. The right-hander gave up three runs on six hits with three walks over 4 1/3 innings at Arizona on Saturday.

–Field Level Media

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