CINCINNATI (AP) — Jay Bruce homered and drove in a pair of runs, and Johnny Cueto dominated in his first opening-day start, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-0 victory over the Miami Marlins on Thursday before one of their biggest crowds.
Cueto (1-0) anchored the Reds’ first opening-day shutout since 1980, when Frank Pastore beat Atlanta’s Phil Niekro 9-0. The right-hander allowed only three hits over seven innings, and a depleted bullpen finished it off.
Left-hander Mark Buehrle (0-1) gave up Bruce’s sacrifice fly and Ryan Ludwick’s RBI double over six innings. Bruce also homered off Edward Mujica.
The crowd of 42,956 was the second-largest at Great American Ball Park, trailing only a playoff loss to Philadelphia in 2010.
The Marlins arrived at 3 a.m. after opening their new ballpark in Miami with a 4-1 loss to St. Louis on Wednesday night. They managed only four hits off the defending World Series champions, and weren’t any better after a few hours of sleep in Cincinnati.
Florida managed only three hits off Cueto and a bullpen depleted by the loss of closer Ryan Madson and setup man Nick Masset. Aroldis Chapman pitched a perfect eighth, and fill-in closer Sean Marshall retired the side in order in the ninth.
Cincinnati’s traditional home opener matched two of the majors’ biggest offseason spenders.
First baseman Joey Votto got a loud ovation during pregame introductions, a day after he signed a new contract that gave him an additional 10 years and $225 million to be the cornerstone of the small-market franchise.
Votto singled and got an intentional walk in four plate appearances.
The Marlins also went on a spending spree leading up to the opening of their new ballpark, shelling out $191 million to acquire NL batting champion Jose Reyes, Buehrle and All-Star closer Heath Bell in a move to make the franchise a contender overnight. They also hired manager Ozzie Guillen to oversee the fresh start.
Buehrle struggled with his control in the first inning on a windy, 60-degree afternoon. He escaped a bases-loaded, one-out threat by allowing only Bruce’s sacrifice fly to the warning track in center. Doubles by Scott Rolen and Ludwick made it 2-0 in the sixth.
Both starters picked a runner off first, undercutting rallies.
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