03/31/08 9:15 PM ET
No Opening Day win for Reds
D-backs' three solo shots too much for Cincy to overcome
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
"He's right. If I run right away, maybe I'd have a better opportunity to get a double," Valentin said. "That's not going to happen anymore."What's also likely to not happen often is Harang giving up two home runs and two walks in one inning. With one out in the top of the third, Chris Young lifted a 2-1 pitch for a solo home run to left field. There were two outs when a first-pitch fastball away trailed back in. Byrnes sent it into the left-field seats for another Arizona homer and a 3-0 lead. "Those two were the biggest pitches of the game. They cost me," Harang said. "I was just missing in that inning off the plate -- my slider and fastball both. Luckily, they were both solo ones." Following Byrnes' homer, Harang immediately walked back-to-back hitters but escaped without more damage. The Reds' ace retired the next 10 batters in a row. "His pitch count got kind of high in that one inning," Baker said. "He found the center of the plate, which isn't typical Aaron. He lost his release point very briefly and then got it back. The damage had been done." An unearned first-inning run accounted for the first scoring against Harang. Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion made a nice pick on Orlando Hudson's sharp ground ball but threw the ball high to first baseman Scott Hatteberg for an error. Two batters later, Conor Jackson rolled an RBI single up the middle for a 1-0 Diamondbacks lead. Coming off of a 59-minute rain delay at the game's start, the infield grass was soggy. Even though Encarnacion has a history of ugly throwing errors, Baker didn't deem this as one of them. "That's not a fundamental error. That was a physical error," Baker said. "At that time, the field was extremely wet. When that field is wet, you hate for the ball to be hit to you." A two-run bottom of the fourth against Webb got the Reds on the scoreboard. Ken Griffey Jr. drew a leadoff walk and scored on Phillips' RBI triple that got past Young in center field. Phillips scored on Adam Dunn's groundout to second base. "The only chance to score runs, we scored them," Dunn said. "When a guy like [Webb] is on, he's as tough as there is. He made it very tough. He's obviously one of the premier pitchers in the game. He doesn't give you much to hit. He's very good."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.