(BaseballStL) — Opening Day in Cincinnati started not with a bang, but with a pop. Starters Adam Wainwright and Johnny Cueto spent most of the season’s first game slapping leather while hitters waved helplessly.
The two combined for 17 strikeouts and only six hits. At one point, Cueto retired eight straight Cardinals in-between Matt Adams at bats. The big lefty beat the shift in his first two appearances, notching a single and a double down the left field line and the only two St. Louis hits until Yadier Molina broke the deadlock.
In the seventh, Molina took the first pitch from Cueto over the left field wall for a solo home run. It wasn’t a towering blast, but it had just enough to clear the wall and give the Cardinals the lead.
Wainwright would finish out the seventh and be replaced, ending his day with 105 pitches, 9 strikeouts and 4 walks (one intentional).
Despite breaking into the walk column much earlier than in 2013, Wainwright bolstered his strikeout numbers at the expense of the Reds’ speedster Billy Hamilton. Considered to be the fastest baserunner in the game, Hamilton never got a chance to show his wheels, striking out all four times he came to the plate against the Cardinal ace.