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Reds dominate Rockies in series opener


Reds dominate Rockies in series opener

CINCINNATI — Right fielder Rece Hinds wasn’t expecting to get his first big league promotion to the Reds and was asleep when Triple-A Louisville manager Pat Kelly woke him to deliver the surprising news Sunday night.

After that, Hinds made a call to his mother, Michelle, but that proved overwhelming.

“I actually had to hang up on her,” Hinds said. “She started screaming and I was like, ‘I can’t take this right now. I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on.’”

Hinds did call his mom back, but the 90-minute journey to Cincinnati on Monday wasn’t calming for the prospect ranked by MLB Pipeline as No. 15 in the organization.

“Honestly when I was driving up from Louisville, I was a wreck,” he said. “I probably teared up a couple of times driving up. I didn’t eat anything all day.”

When it came time to perform on Monday night vs. the Rockies, Hinds was not overcome by the moment. The 23-year-old made his big league debut with two extra-base hits — including a booming home run — in a 6-0 Reds win over the Rockies during Monday’s four-game series opener at Great American Ball Park.

It was a much-needed victory for Cincinnati, which came off being swept three games in the previous series against the Tigers.

“To step right into a big league game like that and directly contribute to a win, what a great way to get it going,” Reds manager David Bell said.

Hinds made his first impact on the game defensively in the top of the fifth inning with a nice sliding catch while running in on Hunter Goodman’s fly to right field.

During Minor League camp at Spring Training in 2022, Hinds was moved to the outfield. The 2019 second-rounder was a third baseman when the Reds selected him.

“It’s a lot easier on my legs out on the grass,” he said of the outfield. “I’ve been working my butt off the last couple of years to be ready for this call and show what I can do out there.”

The Reds were leading 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning with one out against Rockies starter Ryan Feltner when Hinds laced a line drive off the glove of shortstop Ezequiel Tovar. He didn’t hesitate running to second base for a double as his first Major League hit.

“It being a hustle double was pretty cool,” Hinds said of the first hit. “As soon as I saw it go off the glove, [I said], ‘I’m going two here.’ I saw it was in no-man’s land and no one was around it. I thought I could get there.”

The Reds broke open the game with a four-run eighth inning. The catalyst was Hinds, who attacked a 1-2 pitch from reliever Tyler Kinley for a homer to the second deck of seats in left-center field.

“To be honest, I didn’t even watch where the ball went. I kind of looked at the dugout and I completely blacked out on the bases,” Hinds said.

The Statcast-projected distance of Hinds’ homer was 449 feet. Since Statcast began in 2015, it was the second-longest homer by a player making his MLB debut, behind only Colorado’s Sam Hilliard (455 feet) in 2019.

“That’s nothing but a normal homer to Rece,” noted Reds starting pitcher Andrew Abbott, who delivered a big seven-inning start to shut down the Rockies. He allowed three hits with two walks and eight strikeouts as he won his fourth consecutive start and sixth of his last seven.

Abbott, who made his own big league debut just over a year ago on June 5, 2023, was one of many familiar faces Hinds saw in the clubhouse.

“Playing with Rece pretty much my entire career with the Reds in the Minors, [he is] a really humble guy,” Abbott said. “He’s going to show up ready to go every day and because of that, he gets rewarded with what he does today. He can showcase a lot more than what he showed today and everybody is ready to see it.”

Hinds was batting .216 with 13 home runs and 41 RBIs at Louisville, and he also had 126 strikeouts in 296 at-bats (42.6 percent). But with a spate of outfielder injuries on the roster, Cincinnati needed him to step up.

Cincinnati’s young team is loaded with others who debuted the past two seasons. Teammates welcomed him with open arms.

“I walked into the clubhouse and saw all of these familiar faces and everyone just greeted me and looked like they were happy for me to be here,” he said. “It makes you feel more comfortable. It makes it feel like home.”

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