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L.A. Angels (1-0) «0010000000002363
Cincinnati (0-1)0010000000000131

Angels get past Reds in 13 innings in interleague play

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- In a game so long that everything became blurred, catcher Chris Iannetta had one thing clearly in mind when he dug in for his final at-bat.

Don't strike out again.

He didn't. Iannetta singled with the bases loaded in the 13th inning Monday, sending the Los Angeles Angels to a 3-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in an opener that set a few records and emptied both bullpens and benches.

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"Not what you script for the first day going on," said Iannetta, who caught all 13 innings.

The first interleague season opener in major league history showed what happens when first games are played in Ohio. Last year, the Blue Jays beat the Indians 7-4 in 16 innings in Cleveland, the longest opener in major league history.

This one was a fitting follow-up at the other end of the state. And Iannetta was in the middle of it.

He hit a solo homer in the third inning off Johnny Cueto, then grounded out and struck out three times, including with the bases loaded in the seventh inning to keep it tied at 1.

"It was a long day at that point," Iannetta said. "I'd had some pretty forgettable at-bats. I was just trying not to strike out."

Hoover walked two and hit Hank Conger -- the Angels' final position player -- to load the bases with two outs. Iannetta worked the count full, fouled off a couple pitches, then singled to left.

With that, the Reds were headed to a loss in their longest season opening game since 1975, when they beat the Dodgers 2-1 in 14 innings.

"That was a heck of an opening day game," Hoover said. "It would have been better if we'd have come out on top."

Mark Lowe pitched two innings for the win. Ernesto Frieri, the Angels' seventh pitcher, completed an impressive showing by the Angels' bullpen, which allowed only one hit over the final seven innings.

A team that sunk $125 million into acquiring outfielder Josh Hamilton to upgrade its offense pulled this one out with a bullpen that has a few questions to start the season.

"I've been hearing some mixed stories about whether that's going to be our weak point," said starter Jered Weaver, who allowed two hits in six innings and gave up a run on a wild pitch. "That's what it's going to take to win some key games."

Angels pitchers fanned 13 in all, their highest total on opening day.

Shin-Soo Choo had a solid debut at the Reds' leadoff hitter, reaching three times. He doubled in the third and came around on a ground out and Weaver's wild pitch.

The Reds also suffered their first injury of the season on the run-producing play. Left fielder Ryan Ludwick dislocated his right shoulder while sliding headfirst into third base on Weaver's wild pitch. He'll have an MRI on Tuesday to determine the severity.

"The ground was a little wet, and when I hit the ground my hand stopped," Ludwick said. "Normally, it slides with you. My shoulder popped out. This wasn't the best opening day."

The bulllpens decided an opener between two teams that think they can contend for the playoffs right from the first pitch -- which was a 92 mph fastball by Cueto for a called strike.

The Angels' biggest offseason move was signing Hamilton, who had a nostalgic start to the season. He started his comeback in Cincinnati on opening day 2007 after years of drug abuse.

He got a standing ovation that day before his pinch-hit appearance in 2007, a fly out. Hamilton got another loud ovation on Monday from fans who wished he'd stayed for more than a year. Cincinnati traded him to Texas after one season.

Hamilton was 0 for 4 with a pair of walks. Albert Pujols also failed to get a hit, leaving the Rangers with nothing out of their power spots.

Nobody on the Reds looked forward to the opener more than Cueto, who strained muscles in his side on his eighth pitch in the playoff opener last year. He had to sit and watch as the Reds blew a two-game advantage and lost to the Giants in the first round, in part because his injury left the rotation in disarray.

Fully healed, the right-hander was back on his game. He gave up three hits and fanned nine, including Iannetta and pinch-hitter J.B. Shuck with the bases loaded in the seventh to keep it tied at 1.

Notes

  • It was sunny and 47 degrees at the first pitch. The crowd of 43,168 was the largest at Great American Ball Park for a regular-season game.
  • Joe Torre, who managed the U.S. team in the World Baseball Classic, threw a ceremonial pitch to Reds 2B Brandon Phillips, who played on the team.
  • Weaver became the first AL starter to bat on opening day since Pat Dobson (Orioles) and Mel Stottlemyre Sr. (Yankees) in 1972. Weaver struck out twice, leaving Angels pitchers 1 for 29 all-time on opening day.
  • The 4-hour, 45-minute game was the longest opener in Angels history.
  • Cueto's nine strikeouts were the most by a Reds pitcher on opening day since Mario Soto struck out 10 in 1982.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Chris Iannetta hits a homer and then a bases-loaded single in the 13th inning to carry the Angels to victory. (Getty Images)
Chris Iannetta hits a homer and then a bases-loaded single in the 13th inning to carry the Angels to victory. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

S. Choo
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Los Angeles

C. Iannetta
AB 6
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Los Angeles Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Mike Trout, CF-LF6010022 .167
Erick Aybar, SS6000013 .000
Albert Pujols, 1B4000111 .000
    Andrew Romine, PR-3B1000010 .000
Josh Hamilton, RF4100211 .000
Mark Trumbo, LF-1B5010122 .200
Howard Kendrick, 2B3100211 .000
Alberto Callaspo, 3B4000123 .000
    Mark Lowe, P0000000 .000
   a- Hank Conger, PH0000000 .000
    Ernesto Frieri, P0000000 .000
Chris Iannetta, C6123033 .333
Jered Weaver, P2000020 .000
   b- J.B. Shuck, PH1000013 .000
    Garrett Richards, P0000000 .000
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
    Kevin Jepsen, P0000000 .000
   c- Brendan Harris, PH10100001.000
    Scott Downs, P0000000 .000
    Peter Bourjos, CF2010002 .500
Totals45363717  
a-hit by pitch for Lowe in the 13th
b-struck out for Jer. Weaver in the 7th
c-singled for Jepsen in the 10th
Batting
3B - Peter Bourjos (1, Hoover)
HR - Chris Iannetta (1, Cueto)
SH - Howard Kendrick (1)
RBI - Chris Iannetta 3 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Iannetta 2 (2)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
E - Erick Aybar (1, Misplayed grounder), Howard Kendrick (1, Misplayed grounder), Albert Pujols (1, Dropped fly)
Los Angeles Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jered Weaver 6211240 1.50
Garrett Richards 1.2100110 0.00
Sean Burnett 0.1000010 0.00
Kevin Jepsen 1000020 0.00
Scott Downs 1000000 0.00
Mark Lowe (W,1-0) 2000130 0.00
Ernesto Frieri (S,1) 1000120 0.00
IBB - Votto by Garrett Richards, Bruce by Mark Lowe
HBP - Choo (by Jered Weaver)
WP - Jered Weaver (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Jered Weaver 95-57, Garrett Richards 29-19, Sean Burnett 6-4, Kevin Jepsen 16-9, Scott Downs 10-6, Mark Lowe 32-20, Ernesto Frieri 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jered Weaver 6-8, Garrett Richards 3-2, Scott Downs 3-0, Mark Lowe 4-0, Ernesto Frieri 1-0
Batters Faced - Jered Weaver 23, Garrett Richards 8, Sean Burnett 1, Kevin Jepsen 3, Scott Downs 3, Mark Lowe 8, Ernesto Frieri 4
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Shin-Soo Choo, CF5120010 .400
Brandon Phillips, 2B5000012 .000
Joey Votto, 1B4000212 .000
Ryan Ludwick, LF0000200 .000
    Chris Heisey, PR-LF3000024 .000
Jay Bruce, RF5000147 .000
Todd Frazier, 3B5010022 .200
Zack Cozart, SS4000001 .000
    Sam LeCure, P0000000 .000
   a- Jack Hannahan, PH1000002 .000
    J.J. Hoover, P0000000 .000
Ryan Hanigan, C5000010 .000
Johnny Cueto, P2000001 .000
    Jonathan Broxton, P0000000 .000
   b- Xavier Paul, PH1000000 .000
    Aroldis Chapman, P0000000 .000
    Cesar Izturis, SS2000010 .000
Totals42130513  
a-grounded out for LeCure in the 11th
b-grounded out for Broxton in the 8th
Batting
2B - Shin-Soo Choo (1, Jer. Weaver)
SH - Brandon Phillips (1), Chris Heisey (1)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
E - Brandon Phillips (1, Misplayed grounder)
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Johnny Cueto 7311291 1.29
Jonathan Broxton 1000020 0.00
Aroldis Chapman 1000120 0.00
Sam LeCure 2100210 0.00
J.J. Hoover (L,0-1) 2222230 9.00
IBB - Callaspo by Johnny Cueto, Kendrick by J.J. Hoover
HBP - Conger (by J.J. Hoover)
Pitches-Strikes - Johnny Cueto 105-70, Jonathan Broxton 14-8, Aroldis Chapman 20-13, Sam LeCure 34-16, J.J. Hoover 47-26
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johnny Cueto 9-4, Jonathan Broxton 1-0, Sam LeCure 2-3, J.J. Hoover 2-1
Batters Faced - Johnny Cueto 27, Jonathan Broxton 3, Aroldis Chapman 4, Sam LeCure 9, J.J. Hoover 11
Game Information
Attendance - 43168
Game Time - 4:45
Temperature - 47
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Todd Tichenor