CINCINNATI — Maybe it’s a good thing for the Cincinnati Reds played in front of an empty Great American Ball Park.
Fans wouldn’t be happy after the revamped Reds lost at home for the second day in a row to the Detroit Tigers, a club that lost 114 games last season.
The same COVID-19 that forced the closure of the ballpark to fans hit the Cincinnati lineup might have hit hard Sunday. Matt Davidson, the designated hitter on Opening Day, is out after testing positive for coronavirus on Saturday. Starting second baseman Mike Moustakas, who signed a four-year, $64 million contract in December, and starting centerfielder Nick Senzel were scratched from the lineup because they didn’t feel well. Also, catcher Tucker Barnhart was unavailable because his wife gave birth to a son.
Another familiar bug bit the Reds for the second consecutive day, as the bullpen failed to back a stellar performance by a starting pitcher. One day after Cincinnati wasted a nine-strikeout performance by Luis Castillo, the Reds allowed Trevor Bauers’ 13-strikeout effort go for naught.
Cincinnati hitters didn’t help, managing just six hits off Detroit starter Spencer Turnbull, who went 3-17 last season.
Nico Goodrum gave Detroit (2-1) a 1-0 lead when he golfed a solo home run off Bauer in the third inning. The homer was Goodrum’s third off Bauer the last two seasons.
Joey Votto, who has five hits in three games, blooped a single to center to score Travis Jankowski, who started in place of Senzel.
The scored remained tied until the top of the ninth inning when reliever Michael Lorenzen walked Miguel Cabrera, then gave up a C.J. Cron’s second home run of the series to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead. Lorenzen surrendered a homer to Cabrera in a 6-4 loss on Satruday.
Cincinnati got a run back in the ninth When Freddy Galvis doubled, then scored on a double by Aristides Aquino. Jesse Winker was hit by a pitch, but Votto grounded into a double play to end it.
Reliever Jose Cisnero picked up the victory, his first in 2,592 days.
HISTORY MADE: Sunday marked the first time in team history Reds pitchers struck out more than 10 pitchers in each of their first three games.
Sonny Gray whiffed 11 on Opening Day, Castillo struck out 11 Saturday and Bauer 13 Sunday.
Bauer’s 13 Ks were the most by a Reds pitcher since Jim Maloney struck out 13 in 1966.
WASTED EFFORT: Reds starters combined strike out 33, walk four and allow 11 hits in 18 1/3 innings against the Tigers.
UP NEXT: The Chicago Cubs come to town for a four-game series beginning at 6:40 p.m. Monday.
Newly-signed righthander Wade Miley is scheduled to start for Cincinnati against Cubs ace Jon Lester.