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Nick Martini hits two home runs in Reds’ Opening Day win



Nick Martini hits two home runs in Reds' Opening Day win
Google News Recentlyheard

Google News Recentlyheard

CINCINNATI — Lasting Opening Day recollections aren’t all the time made by the superstars. Typically, they’re made by gamers like Reds designated hitter Nick Martini.

A 33-year-old journeyman, Martini’s profession had him endure years within the Minor Leagues with temporary possibilities within the huge leagues, and he even spent 2022 in Korea. Thursday marked his first Opening Day within the huge leagues.

Martini made it rely with two residence runs and 5 RBIs that powered the Reds to an 8-2 victory over the Nationals earlier than a sellout crowd of 44,030 followers at Nice American Ball Park.

“It’s simply an superior second. First Opening Day, two homers. That’s fairly freaking candy,” left fielder Spencer Steer mentioned.

“Nick Martini goes to be a legendary identify round right here,” mentioned reliever Brent Suter, the Cincinnati native who struck out 4 and not using a run over the ultimate two innings.

Within the backside of the second inning, Cincinnati took a 1-0 lead on Steer’s one-out RBI single that scored Jake Fraley. Subsequent was Martini, who slugged a 2-1 cutter from Nationals starter Josiah Grey into the right-field seats for a two-run homer.

Because the Reds rallied in opposition to Grey with one out within the backside of the third inning, Steer’s RBI double scored Fraley once more. Martini adopted by hitting a 2-0 curveball to proper once more to make it a 7-0 sport and ship followers into an early celebration.

“Particularly after the second, I felt how loud it obtained,” Martini mentioned. “It was simply superior. Even the primary at-bat, I had a lot adrenaline as a result of this place was packed out. It was simply superior to see.”

Martini turned the third Reds participant to hit two homers on Opening Day. Adam Dunn did it twice, in 2007 and ‘05. He additionally added to what’s already been an thrilling week for him.

On March 22, within the closing days of Spring Coaching, supervisor David Bell informed Martini that he made the Opening Day roster. Earlier than TJ Friedl and Matt McLain suffered accidents in camp, Martini was combating for a spot because the twenty sixth man. He turned out to not be the final participant to make the crew.

Martini wanted just a few moments with Bell to catch his breath and soak in that he made his first Opening Day within the Main Leagues.

“When he informed me I made the crew, it was onerous to react on the time simply because it had [been] 13 years,” Martini mentioned. “I had a visit to Korea, got here again right here and signed a Minor League deal final yr. Didn’t even go to huge league camp. It was type of like all the pieces coming collectively directly. Special occasion.”

As soon as Bell informed Martini — a reserve outfielder and first baseman — he was within the Opening Day lineup because the DH, he simply walked away.

“We’ve recognized this man can hit,” Bell mentioned. “For it to all come out Opening Day, his first one, which is shocking or surprising if you concentrate on it as a result of this man has been a very good participant for a very long time. He’s all the time been capable of hit. He’s labored extremely onerous for years, and he’s getting his alternative now.”

Martini was referred to as up from Triple-A Louisville on Aug. 22 final yr and hit six residence runs with 16 RBIs over 29 video games and 79 plate appearances. Two of the homers had been tying drives late within the sport that helped get essential wins in a playoff chase.

“He rakes. For him to go on the market and hit two pops, I’m actually completely satisfied about it,” Reds beginning pitcher Frankie Montas mentioned.

The Reds additionally had a whole day all around the area. In his Reds debut, Montas delivered six scoreless innings with 4 hits, no walks and 4 strikeouts. He has had his personal journey to beat: Montas was restricted to 1 1/3 innings with the Yankees final season as he recovered from proper shoulder surgical procedure.

Baserunners stole three bases within the sport, with two of them resulting in runs. Defensively, Fraley threw out ex-Crimson Jesse Winker at second base from proper area as he tried to stretch for a double to finish the highest of the primary inning.

However the day belonged to a participant who has paid his dues for years off the large league radar. Martini additionally had 4 members of the family on the sport from his hometown of Chicago to see him benefit from the second.

“To have the ability to contribute on Opening Day — I do know it’s just one sport — however to give you the option [to play] in entrance of that many followers, this metropolis is a number of enjoyable,” Martini mentioned.

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