Arizona Diamondbacks win Home Opener 2011
Phoenix April 8, 2011 – review by the first Internet Baseball Historian
Playing before a sellout crowd of 48,027, the Arizona Diamondbacks toppled NL Central Division leading Cincinnati Reds 13-1. Led by the home run hitting of Justin Upton, Kelly Johnson and Chris Young and strong pitching of starter Ian Kennedy the Arizona improved to 3-3 while Cincinnati fell to 5-2.
The right-handed Ian Kennedy, who was 9-10 in ’10, stymied the Reds big bats, yielding just 6 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, struckout 9 in 8 innings.
The D’backs offense came to life, scoring early and late, including 7 runs in the last 2 innings. Arizona’s offense powered loser Travis Wood (1-1) by scoring six runs in the first 6 innings, moving the score to 6-1. Then hit the above 3 homers off Reds reliever Matt Maloney in the last 2 innings.
The game was Arizona’s manager Kirk Gibson first opening day. He was the team’s bench coach starting in ’07 and took over as manager when A.J. Hinch was fired on July 1 last year (’10). The Diamondbacks opened 2011 by losing 3 of 4. Now, they are 3-3. After the win, Kirk Gibson said, “It was a great atmosphere. You wish they could all be this way but it doesn’t happen. We know we’re in for a big fight Saturday.”
Outfielder Willie Bloomquist hit a double to leadoff the bottom of the 1st and scored when right fielder Justin Upton singled to center. Arizona’s shortstop Stephen Drew lined a double to left, making the score 2-0. It was the first start for Stephen Drew who was with a strained stomach muscle.
“Our offense put me ahead early and I was able to pitch with more comfort than a 0-0 baseball game. You can pitch to contact rather than trying to miss bats,” said starter Ian Kennedy.
Reds manager Dusty Baker said in the dressing after the game, “He had his fastball and was locating it. His breaking ball and slider were good. He didn’t make any mistakes with his breaking balls. He was throwing then down. He was throwing them in the dirt. He executed by having good location.”
Arizona’s catcher Miguel Montero had 3 hits, including 2 doubles and a single, a walk, scored twice and had a RBI. He lifted his 2011 batting average to a torrid .545 – 12 hits in 22 at bats. Miguel Montero said, “I feel good, what can I say? Hopefully I can keep it up. Just trying to get a good pitch to hit, man.”
Justin Upton hit a solo homer in the 7th off Matt Maloney and the score was now 7-1. Second baseman Kelly Johnson and centerfielder Chris Young lined home runs in the bottom of the 8th, Arizona’s last inning. The score was 13-1 going into the 9th before Reds first baseman Joey Votto homered, making it 13-2. It was his 4th straight 2 hit game. Joey Votto was last year’s NL Most Valuable Player, ’10. Reds shortstop Paul Janish collected his 4th multi-hit game of 2011. He’s now batting .455.
Review by the first Internet Baseball Historian