CINCINNATI (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and the boosted St. Louis Cardinals started with quite a burst.
Goldschmidt and the newly acquired Arenado combined for six hits and the Cardinals roughed up Luis Castillo for six runs in the first inning to beat the Cincinnati Reds 11-6 Thursday.
Even with snow flurries and a game time temperature of 37 degrees on opening day, the Cardinals scored all their runs in the first four innings. Dylan Carlson hit a three-run homer and Tyler O’Neill connected for a two-run shot.
“A really good firm punch, right there at the beginning, coming at you,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “Really good inning, lots of situational hitting.”
St. Louis starter Jack Flaherty couldn’t take advantage of the big lead, giving up six runs in 4 1/3 innings. Giovanny Gallegos (1-0), the fourth of five Cardinals relievers, got the win.
Castillo (0-1) had a bad day almost from the start. He surrendered 10 runs, eight of them earned, on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings.
Goldschmidt, who had four hits and scored three times, doubled with one out in the first and Arenado, the star third baseman acquired in an offseason trade from Colorado, followed with a single.
An error by shortstop Eugenio Suárez, who was moved over from third base in spring training, let two runs score and Carlson homered to cap the burst.
Singles by Goldschmidt and Arenado and another error by Suárez led to another run in the second.
The Cardinals added four more in the fourth on an RBI single by Goldschmidt, a wild pitch and O’Neill’s drive.
“A lot of different guys drove in runs today, and that’s what it’s going to take for us to be successful,” Goldschmidt said.
Suárez homered in the bottom of the fourth. Nick Castellanos homered, doubled and singled for the Reds, who chipped away but couldn’t score runs in bunches.
Down 11-6 in the sixth, they loaded the bases with one out. But Castellanos’ liner to center fielder was snagged by Carlson, who doubled off Tyler Stephenson at second base.
“We had a lot of good at-bats,” Reds manager David Bell said. “We were one swing away from getting back in the game.”
A “sold-out” crowd of about 12,000 socially distanced people braved the frigid conditions for the first game at Great American Ball Park with fans in 18 months.
After Jesse Winker opened the Reds’ half of the first inning with a double, St. Louis right fielder Justin Williams made a gem of a catch on the warning track, jumping up and snagging a ball over his head off the bat of Castellanos.
Jonathan India became the first Reds rookie to start at second base on opening day since Pete Rose in 1963. He had a double and a single and handled everything hit his way.
Whether Reds first baseman Joey Votto was going to start his 13th consecutive opening day at first base was in question until game day. He had an RBI single in the fifth. Votto missed 13 days of spring training after testing positive for COVID-19 and had to work his way back into playing shape. The 37-year-old Votto is closing on some milestones. He’s 91 hits away from 2,000, needs five home runs to get to 300, and 33 RBIs to reach 1,000 in his career.
Cardinals: OF Harrison Bader (right forearm), RHP Dakota Hudson (elbow), LHP Kwang Hyun Kim (back) and RHP Miles Mikolas (right shoulder) started the season on the 10-day disabled list.
Reds: CF Nick Senzel injured his left shoulder making a terrific diving catch of Arrenado’s liner in the fourth inning. Tyler Naquin pitch-hit for him in the bottom of the inning and then replaced him in the field. Bell said he may be back for the weekend games. OF Shogo Akiyama (hamstring), RHP Sonny Gray (back) and RHP Michael Lorenzen (shoulder) are on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to March 29.
After an off day, the Cardinals will send RHP Adam Wainwright to the mound against RHP Tyler Mahle on Saturday afternoon.