CINCINNATI — They were shut out twice on the just-completed West Coast road trip, but the Reds’ offense motored to life again back home at Great American Ball Park.
A 10-batter, seven-run burst in the third inning featured another Joey Votto home run as Cincinnati pummeled Cleveland, 10-3, in Friday’s Ohio Cup series opener.
Against Logan Allen, the Reds were retired in order in each of the first two innings and trailed by a 1-0 score. The bottom of the third inning started when Kyle Farmer scorched a ball through the legs of third baseman José Ramírez for an error and Tyler Stephenson was hit on the foot by a pitch. A wild pitch to Jeff Hoffman moved both runners before Hoffman hit a game-tying RBI single into center field.
With that door open just a crack, the Reds burst through as Hoffman’s single was the first of five consecutive hits. Against reliever Phil Maton, Eugenio Suárez pulled a two-run double to left field. On a 2-1 Maton pitch, Votto lifted it the other way for a two-run homer to left-center field — his third long ball in his last four games — to make it a 7-1 game.
Add-on Reds runs came in the fifth on Stephenson’s two-run single and in the sixth when Nick Castellanos sent a one-out solo homer to right-center field.
After laboring early, Hoffman allowed one earned run and seven hits over six innings with three walks and four strikeouts. Amed Rosario hit a solo homer in the second inning. As Hoffman loaded the bases on two walks and a single in the third inning, the Reds’ bullpen went active. But Hoffman escaped without giving up another run and went on to enjoy a quality start.