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Naquin, Reds Pummel Pirates

Cincinnati Reds' Tyler Naquin follows through on a home run during the third inning of the team's baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Tuesday, April 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

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.”

SWAGGER

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.”

TWO-WAY PLAYER

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.

TRAINER’S ROOM

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.

UP NEXT

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.

NATIONALS 6, BRAVES 5

WASHINGTON (AP) — Juan Soto drove in the winning run with a single on a 3-0 pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the coronavirus-depleted Washington Nationals to a comeback victory over the Atlanta Braves after waiting five days to start their season.

Lefty reliever Will Smith (0-1) entered for the ninth and promptly gave up a single to new leadoff hitter Victor Robles, and then hit Trea Turner with a pitch. That brought up Soto, the 2020 NL batting champion, and he delivered a line drive to center field.

Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson homered against Washington ace Max Scherzer. Acuna drove Scherzer’s first pitch of the game deep to left-center, and led off the third with his second homer.

Turner hit a two-run shot for the Nationals. Daniel Hudson (1-0) got the win.

Because of a COVID-19 outbreak — four players tested positive; seven were forced into quarantine after potentially being exposed — Washington’s first four scheduled games were scrapped.

YANKEES 7, ORIOLES 2

NEW YORK (AP) — Gerrit Cole struck out 13 and walked none over seven scoreless innings in his most dominant start since joining the Yankees.

Cole (1-0) allowed four hits, three of them singles, in the type of the performance that showed why the Yankees made him baseball’s highest-paid pitcher in December 2019 with a $324 million, nine-year contract.

Jay Bruce backed him with his first Yankees home run, a solo shot in the second off Dean Kremer (0-1), and Aaron Judge added a three-run homer in the eighth.

New York has won a team-record 12 straight home games against the Orioles since May 2019, outscoring Baltimore 76-28. It moved above .500 for first time this year at 3-2.

Rio Ruiz hit a two-run homer for Baltimore with two out in the ninth.

ASTROS 4, ANGELS 2

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Carlos Correa hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the ninth inning, lifting Houston to the victory.

Kyle Tucker and Aledmys Diaz hit back-to-back homers in the second inning for the Astros, who went an impressive 5-1 on their six-game road trip to start the season amid the incessant booing and jeering they’ll hear indefinitely as fans react to their sign-stealing scandal in the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Mike Trout hit a 464-foot homer in the first inning, but the Angels dropped to 4-2 and failed to match the best six-game start in franchise history. Raisel Iglesias (1-1) got the loss.

Ryan Pressly (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for Houston, getting Justin Upton to ground into a game-ending double play.

TIGERS 4, TWINS 3, 10 INNINGS

DETROIT (AP) — Akil Baddoo added another big hit in this charmed start to his big league career, lining an RBI single in the 10th inning for Detroit.

Baddoo made his debut Sunday and homered on the first pitch thrown to him. Then he hit a grand slam in a 15-6 loss to the Twins on Monday. The rookie entered Tuesday’s game as a pinch runner, stayed in to the play the outfield and ended it with a hit to right off Hansel Robles (0-1).

Nelson Cruz and Byron Buxton homered for the Twins, who rallied from a 3-1 deficit.

Gregory Soto (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for Detroit, and the Tigers scored in their half of the 10th.

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