June 13 (UPI) — Nick Senzel and Joey Votto started Wednesday’s game against the Cleveland Indians with back-to-back home runs and the Cincinnati Reds never looked back, winning 7-2 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
The Reds hadn’t led off a game with back-to-back home runs since 2001 before Wednesday’s wallops.
Senzel led off the game with his fifth home run of the season. The Reds rookie settled in against Indians starter Zach Pelsac during that exchange. The right-handed rookie worked a 1-2 count against Senzel before issuing an 85.1-mph slider.
Senzel smacked the offering over the left field fence for a 385-foot solo shot. The blast had an exit velocity of 104 mph and a launch angle of 24 degrees, according to Statcast.
Then Votto walked up to the plate. The Reds first baseman worked a full count against Plesac on six pitches. Plesac’s seventh offering was a 94-mph fastball. Votto pummeled the pitch over the right field fence for another solo homer.
Votto’s blast traveled 380 feet and had an exit velocity of 104 mph.
“We just wanted to get things going,” Senzel told Fox Sports Ohio. “I know the last couple of games the offense has been a little slow and we haven’t executed the way we know how. Just trying to get something going.”
The Tribe cut the Reds’ lead in half with a Mike Freeman RBI ground out in the bottom of the second frame. Jose Peraza plated Jose Iglesias with an RBI double, giving the Reds a 3-1 edge in the top of the fifth inning.
Eugenio Suarez and Cut Casali hit solo homers in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively, giving Cincinnati a four-run advantage entering the eighth inning.
Iglesias plated two more runs with an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth frame, giving the Reds a 7-1 lead. The Indians added a final run with a Carlos Santana solo shot in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani allowed four hits and one run in 5.2 innings to pick up his third win of the season. Plesac took the loss, allowing five hits and four runs in 5.1 innings for the Tribe. Senzel was 1-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored, a walk and a strikeout in the win. Votto was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored for Cincinnati.
Iglesias went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, a run scored and a strikeout in the victory.
“It was good,” Votto told reporters. “I imagine everybody feels quite a bit more loose or confident. Nick hitting that lead-off home run kinda made me feel good. Clearly, we roll into one another and I think that’s what we have to do for the rest of the season.”