CINCINNATI (AP) — Cesar Hernandez opened the Phillies’ season with a homer, Jeremy Hellickson drove in a run with his first career triple and Philadelphia beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 in rain Monday.
Hernandez connected on Scott Feldman’s eighth pitch, and the Phillies held on for their first opening day victory in three years. Freddy Galvis — who had a career-high 20 homers last season — added a solo shot in the second. The Reds gave up the most homers in the majors last season.
Hellickson (1-0) pitched into the sixth, allowing a run and six hits, and he also contributed his RBI triple in the sixth. Right fielder Scott Schebler failed to make a diving catch of his two-out liner, letting the ball get by him as Hellickson chugged across an infield turned muddy by several innings of rain.
Hellickson was the first pitcher to triple in an opener since the Giants’ Jack Sanford in 1963, according to ESPN.
The Phillies also opened last season in Cincinnati behind Hellickson, who made a solid start before the bullpen allowed five runs in the eighth for Cincinnati’s 6-2 win. The bullpen barely held on this time.
Jeanmar Gomez gave up Scooter Gennett’s two-out, two-run homer in the ninth before retiring Billy Hamilton on a routine fly to get the save.
Feldman (0-1) lasted only 4 2/3 innings in his third opening day start and his first for Cincinnati. The right-hander signed with the Reds three months ago to fill a spot in the middle of the rotation, but wound up starting the opener after Anthony DeSclafani and Homer Bailey had elbow problems.
The Phillies piled up two homers, Hellickson’s triple and four doubles. Howie Kendrick had three of their 10 hits.
Steady and occasionally heavy rain moved in for the middle innings, but the teams played through it without a delay.
Phillies: RH Zack Eflin is the only Phillies player on the DL to start the season. He’s recovering from surgery on both knees last year.
Reds: RH Bronson Arroyo threw six 15-pitch innings during a simulate game on Sunday and is still on target to join the team and start next weekend in St. Louis, barring any setbacks.
Phillies: After a day off Tuesday, the teams resume their series. RH Jerad Eickhoff makes his first appearance against the Reds. He went 14-17 last season.
Reds: LH Brandon Finnegan went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts against the Phillies last season. He had 15 quality starts last season, second to Dan Straily for the staff lead.