Elly De La Cruz put on a variety show on Friday night that included stealing three bases and hitting a 3-run home run behind an outstanding start from Nick Lodolo. It took a big 8th inning to put the game away for Cincinnati, but they got it as the Reds defeated the Los Angeles Angels 7-1 to open up the series.

Final R H E
Los Angeles Angels (9-11)
1 7 1
Cincinnati Reds (10-9)
7 5 1
W: Lodolo (2-0) L: Anderson (2-2)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Elly De La Cruz got things going for the Reds in the bottom of the 2nd with a 2-out single. He followed up by stealing second base. Then he took third base and on the play the catcher threw the ball into left field and De La Cruz waltzed home to put Cincinnati up 1-0.

That’s where the score remained until the 5th inning when the Angels finally broke through against Nick Lodolo. Luis Rengifo picked up a 2-out single, then stole second base, and came around to score when Jo Adell picked up his second hit of the game. The game remained tied until the bottom of the 6th when Tyler Stephenson took Angels starting pitcher Tyler Anderson deep…. like real deep. Stephenson’s 433-foot homer landed halfway up the second deck.

Cincinnati would run into trouble in the top of the 7th when the Angels got a single from Brandon Drury and then Luis Rengifo doubled to put two men on with one out. That had manager David Bell head to the mound to bring in Fernando Cruz to relieve Lodolo. That move worked out as Cruz came into the game and struck out both batters he faced in the inning to get out of the jam.

The Reds would put together a rally in the bottom of the 8th inning. Adam Cimber came on to relieve Tyler Anderson and struggled out of the gate as he walked Jonathan India before Spencer Steer followed up with a single. Stuart Fairchild then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move up both runners. The struggles for Cimber continued as he walked Tyler Stephenson to load the bases then hit Nick Martini to bring a run in. That ended his night, but Cincinnati kept on going as a wild pitch from new reliever Jose Cisnero brought in a run. Two pitches later Elly De La Cruz capped off the inning with a 3-run homer to extend the lead to 7-1.

Buck Farmer headed to the mound for the top of the 9th inning. He made quick work of the Angels, retiring the side in order on 11 pitches to seal the win.

Key Moment of the Game

The Angels bringing Adam Cimber into the game in the 8th inning. Cincinnati took full advantage of his struggles and put together a 5-run inning that put the game out of reach.

Notes Worth Noting

Nick Lodolo picked up six strikeouts in 6.1 innings of 1-run baseball. Through his two starts he’s now struck out 16 batters with just one walk.

Elly De La Cruz had another multi-hit game and is now hitting .290/.364/.638 with 10 stolen bases in 19 games.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Los Angeles Angels vs Cincinnati Reds

Saturday April 20th, 6:40pm ET

Patrick Sandoval (1-2, 4.67 ERA) vs Graham Ashcraft (2-1, 4.15 ERA)

86 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    That’s the way to kick off the weekend. What a performance by Lodolo. TySteve called a great game and smashed that ball. And Elly was our favorite version of Elly.

    • Mark Moore

      And, for the record, that’s how you Kick That Pig!!!

    • Ted Alfred

      Tyler also had a really good game defensively behind the plate…one of the best I can remember from him.

    • Melvin

      Lodolo looking better than Abbott so far. That’s hard to do.

  2. Mark Moore

    “Electric” … that’s a great word for tonight, Elly. And your fans are very proud of you for taking on the additional challenge of doing the interviews para Englais!!

    • TR

      The Reds have a team leader in the making in Elly De La Cruz.

  3. Dennis Westrick

    Angel’s bullpen meltdown in the 8th inning looked eerily similar to some games by the Reds bullpen last season! Great job by all! Lodolo looks like the ace of the staff!

    • Harry Stoner

      I’m just hoping his leg holds up!

    • Oldtimer

      Funnily enough, the Reds bullpen last year had 7 or 8 guys with ERA+ (100 is NL average) numbers well over 100.

    • Melvin

      Cruz showed tonight the he could be the “closer”.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        He’s the guy I would use in that role. Tonight, the situation he was brought into was about as crucial as occurred tonight, and he got it done.

      • JayTheRed

        Cruz doesn’t need to be the closer. The guy we have already at closer most of the time gets the job done. He has had that one bad out, which any pitcher in baseball can have this season so far.

        I’m good with what Cruz does now. Unless Diaz needs a night off.

    • MBS

      “Lodolo looks like the ace of the staff” If it’s not Lodolo it’s our other lefty Abbott.

      • TR

        The Reds starting pitching looks real good with the possibility of two healthy lefties leading the way.

    • mac624

      That was their manager and GM’s fault. They need to be replaced and trades need to happen immediately. Signed, the Angels version of RLN!

    • JayTheRed

      I’ve felt that Lodolo would be our ace over Greene from back when they were both in the minors still. Greene is a #3 or #4 starter in my opinion based on his track record thus far. If he can’t get past the 5th inning, I don’t care how many he strikes out. Lodolo when not injured has been just consistently Good.

  4. Mauired

    I was surprised to see Stephenson in the lineup since it seemed like Maile was personal catcher for Lodolo and Greene. I don’t know if that means they gave up on it or scratched. Either way, was great to see him in the lineup. He caught a great game and hit an absolute bomb. Hopefully this means he’s in the lineup at least 4/5 or the rotation. And hopefully Reds sign Elly to at least a ten year deal very soon.

    • MBS

      Casali was Lodolo’s personal catcher last year. Maile only caught him once.

    • redfanorbust

      Elly is Boras client and extension most likely will never happen. However it is interesting to note he will be arb eligible in 2027 and FA in 29, so we will have him for most of his prime and during that time he will be making pennies on the dollar IF his success continues to grow. I could imagine though that somewhere during that time he may feel the need to sign a long term contact giving him security and decent money for pre arb years.

  5. Stock

    Who is the best player in baseball? Thus far this year it is EDLC. Come September I think he will still be #1.

    Ronald Acuna reign at the top was short lived.

    • VaRedsFan

      Better lock him up now, before he gets too good.
      Maybe wait for an 0-12 slump, then sign the papers.

      • Melvin

        If we sign him now we can keep him in the millions perhaps. haha He’s convinced me that he’s durable enough. Sign him. 🙂

      • greenmtred

        I agree about trying to extend him. Ominously, in his post-game interview, he said several times that Los Angeles is “his” city.

      • mac624

        I would be totally shocked if Boras would allow him to sign anything at this point. While I’d love for EDLC to be a Red for life, the chances of that happening are slim with no baseball salary cap. Small market teams stand zero chance at signing generational talent to major contracts. In a few years, EDLC will likely be the first billion-dollar baseball player and he will do that in LA or NY, unless by some miracle a salary cap is put in place. There’s no way Bob or the Reds can afford him even now.

      • Melvin

        “I would be totally shocked if Boras would allow him to sign anything at this point”

        Giving up millions and millions of guaranteed dollars is hard to do (very) considering one career ending injury could take it all away if you don’t.

      • greenmtred

        What you say makes sense, Melvin, but do you recall how bomb proof you felt when you were Elly’s age?

      • Melvin

        I never had millions of dollars right in front of my nose. 😉

      • greenmtred

        Nor did I. I certainly hope that you’re right.

      • redfanorbust

        If he goes 0-12 people will be calling for him to go to AAA much the same as people asking for a 10 year contract now that he has put together a few good games. 🙂

      • JayTheRed

        If we are signing someone long term, I want Steer signed right now. The guy gives you the best at-bats on the team. He is consistent with his hitting approach. Steer isn’t a superstar, but he is sure really good. He won’t cost as much as some of these higher profile players too.

  6. LDS

    If Lodolo can stay healthy…. Still no update on Candelario and CES?

    • Harry Stoner

      I’ll enjoy a lefty with a big sweeping curveball over a 100mph fb pitcher anyday.

      But one can see how Reds fans might fantasize over a Koufax-Drysdale (in reverse) combination with Greene and Lodolo.

      Dicky Betts just passed and folks used to comp him and Duane Allman as version of Coltrane and Cannonball.

      As long as we’re fantasizing about EDLC, we might as well go for broke.

      At least for the evening.

      I’m jacking in: “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”.

      • LDS

        A great band from a far better musical age. Enjoy.

      • DaveCT

        The pre-game music last night before the broadcast started in Bradenton (vs. Daytona) was Elizabeth Reed. Saw the Allmans in 71 and 72 at the peak. Dicky was great. Duane was surreal. Live at Fillmore East is still the best live album ever recorded. Fight me.

      • Justin T

        Rip dicky! Lodolo can be dominating but like most young pitchers, every pitch thrown could be the last of the season. Never seen injuries like we have the last 2 yrs in MLB with pitchers. Its just too hard on your entire body throwing 100 mph. Thats why when the Reds get a guy who uses speed changes and location to get guys out like Abbott, they don’t know what to do w him. He was on the rotation bubble in the spring and will always have an uphill battle because he doesnt throw 100.

    • BhamRedsFan

      There was an update before the game on both

  7. RedsGettingBetter

    Elly de la CRUSH….. 6 homers and 10 stolen in just 19 games…
    Lodolo 12 IP , 1 run permitted with 17 Ks and only 1 walk.

    • Melvin

      .290/.364/.638/1.002 through 19 games. I’ll take that. 😉

      • Tom Mitsoff

        On pace for 85 steals … 😉

      • Melvin

        Best #6 hitter in baseball. 😀 😉

  8. Andrew Brewer

    It was F. Cruz with his two strike outs that deserves much of the credit for this win. Yeah, the Reds pulled ahead with 5 in the bottom of the 8th, but the score was 2-1 at that point. I couldn’t believe Martini got hit by a pitch to bring in the first run of the 5 inning romp, but I was glad he was up there in that situation. I don’t know where the Angels got that first reliever. His 4 seam fastball was only 84 mph. Glad to see the Reds are back in the hunt !

  9. Melvin

    Through 19 games EDLC on pace for:

    51 HR
    85 SB
    119 RBI
    170 Hits

    • MBS

      1st ever 50, 50 player in baseball history, I’d take that! The funny thing is it’s not even crazy to think he could do that. EDLC is such a gifted player.

      • Melvin

        Yes. He has for potential to be even better than that.

    • Reddawg2012

      If he actually puts up those numbers, the Reds will never be able to extend him. I think they will have to roll the dice and do it soon if there is any chance at all.

      • MBS

        If there is 1 player that the Reds should extend this early, it’s EDLC. Who knows what he’ll do career wise, but he puts butts in the seats. He’ll pay for himself.

    • Rcsodak

      Lol. Can I remind you of this when he goes 0-20 with 15 so’s?

      • JB

        The same guy that people wanted to send to AAA a few weeks ago?

  10. Grand Salami

    What a game! We did a family night and I missed but winning at home will pay more dividends for this team than road wins.

  11. sultanofswaff

    A healthy and productive Lodolo tips the divisional scales in the Reds favor. Kinda weird to think Greene could be the #5 SP on the staff.

  12. Jeremiah

    Elly De La Cruz has been way better than I thought he’d be, I was concerned he’d hit like .210. When he’s on, he reminds me of like having a Barry Bonds, Mcguire, etc. on your team. He can change the game almost by himself. Hopefully he continues to be more consistent.

    Nice seeing Stephenson HR. They really need to get him going…he showed too much promise early in his career to not be a solid MLB hitter again, to be a 9 hitter. I like moving him up to 4, 5th or 6th in the lineup.

    • Melvin

      I really don’t see how Espinal can bat anything but 9th when he’s in the lineup.

    • TR

      I have the feeling that Elly De La Cruz took to heart the criticism evident at the end of last season, and in the offseason he worked on improving his game. The Reds have a very talented young player. As regards Stephenson, it appears he has recovered from injury. He is a player who can surprise, because Stephenson is a natural hitter.

  13. Old-school

    Fun baseball game. Great SP, timely hitting, TS goes 433 feet, bullpen gets big outs, and electricity from a budding star. Sign me up for that!

  14. Old Big Ed

    The turning point for Elly was his second error in game 5 in Philadelphia, when he unnecessarily tried a glove flip to India for a force out. He had a look on his face of complete disgust at himself, and I told myself then that he’d never make that mistake again.

    Through the first 9 games, he slashed .242/.324/.394, and had 17 Ks in 37 PAs.

    He has been the best player in baseball since then. Over his last 10 games, he’s slashed .333/.400/.861, with 6 HRs, 5 SBs, and only 8 Ks in 40 PAs. And he’s done it with a BABIP over that time of only .273, so it isn’t just a lucky streak of balls dropping in. He’s made several excellent plays at SS with only one error in those 10 games.

    They have to extend him.

    He’s already the face of the franchise, and he’s the straw who stirs the drink. If he plays all season like he is capable, the Reds are definitely in pennant contention, assuming as always that the pitching holds up.

    They do need to move him up in the order. In the short but spectacular Eric Davis heyday, Davis was the cleanup hitter. It worked well, because by definition, he either (a) came up in the first inning with at least one runner on base, or (b) led off the second inning as the best base-stealer in the game. Elly fits that role well, too, so that’s where I would put him.

    • JB WV

      Great post Big Ed. Agree completely. Starting him at the 6 spot so far is paying dividends, taking some pressure off from hitting higher in the order and finding his groove. Love to see him move to the four spot now.

      • TR

        The 6 spot for now seems to be working. Elly has found his grove.

  15. Stanley Macdonald

    I watched the first inning then had to do chores until returning in the 8th, I got to see all the action! Elly is magical and the spark plug of the team just like Joe Morgan was when I was growing up, a manufacturer of runs all on his own.

  16. Reddawg2012

    It’s just nice to get a win. Really need CES and Candy back and playing to their potential.

  17. Matt WI

    Some great defense that also got them out of.some jams… India with a shovel pass to Elly that got a lead runner who would have scored on the next hit. Steer being heads up at 1B and nailing the runner at home.

    Never want to see Fairchild in the 3 hold ever again though. Props on his bunt though.

    • Old-school

      That Steer play to nail the runner at home got lost a little bit with so many highlights and great plays but that was a heads up play by a heads up player. Put this game in the highlight reel for 2024. If Lodolo can be a AS caliber TOR guy and Elly becomes a superstar this year, Reds can do damage once folks get healthy

    • Jimbo44CN

      Yep, that play by India got lost in all the Elly highlights, but what a play. Need to trade him immediately! Can’t play second, horrible defense, etc, etc, who needs leadership, and on and on and on. Gotta love RLN.

    • Justin T

      Bell puts the team at a disadvantage before the game starts alot of times and Fairchild in the 3 hole was an example. He went 0-3 because thats who Fairchild is if you play him too often- let alone let him bat 3rd. In a great game offensively, his 0-3 stood out in the middle of the lineup. Other than that its hard to complain about anything from last night.

      • Optimist

        Yep – I like Stu and Benson, but they really should not hit anywhere other than the 7-8-9 spots. They’re much better than average there, not at all better in the top of the order.

  18. GreatRedLegsFan

    The division looks to be taking shape, with the Brewers and the Cubs sticking at the top, the Pirates quickly deflating and pushing the Cards at the bottom, and the Reds right at the middle of the table. If they can manage to stay afloat until reinforcements return from IL/suspension and/or JC, CES and India can get better, if ever, then they’d have a chance to make the post-season.

  19. Rob

    That is a myth about small market teams not signing long term contracts. Tampa Bay just signed Franco last year for what 13 years. Thinking Arizona just signed Carroll. And the Brewers Chorio. Also seemed like the Pirates recently buttoned somebody in. The Braves are not small market but they have 5-6 young guys locked in for the long haul. Olsen, Acuna, Albies, Riley, Harris, and they got outbid for Swanson.

    If the Reds want to continue bucking the trend, reference Castillo, then the results will fall accordingly. They could have probably locked up Luis for 5 years and $75 M had they chosen to a few months before they traded him. Marte and Arroyo better be studs to match what Luis has produced for the Mariners the last few years. We miss his Innings as much as his wins.

  20. Michael B. Green

    Our pitching had one walk as a team!!!!! I love it! Great outing!

  21. CI3J

    If Lodolo can stay healthy, the Reds will have 4 pitchers who would probably be no worse than a #2 on most pitching staffs, and a #3 in Hunter Greene.

    If Greene ever figures out how to fully harness his immense talent, then the Reds pitching could match up with anyone, even the mighty Dodgers and Braves.

    • Reaganspad

      He needs to throw more strikes on the black like the other 4 do, 5 if you count Williamson who was a good starter for us last year.

      Hunter is too much in the middle of the plate, or too high or wide of the zone. He refines his location, he will be the pitcher we are all looking for

      • MK

        A pitch on the black is a ball, only the white is a strike.

      • Reaganspad

        Agreed MK, but he has been 2 inches outside or over the black

  22. Mark A Verticchio

    As far as the division goes, had the Reds had their full compliment of players I think they would have been the favorite, as things stand they just need to hand in there as long as they can until they get people back. The problem is that while Freidl will most likely be back soon, Marte will come back after his 80 games but still can’t play if they happen to make the playoffs, however the biggest issue, by far, is McCLain because who knows if he will be back at all this year.

  23. Indy Red Man

    Lodolo looks great! They weren’t even getting good cuts at 93 center-cut. I think his height really helps extension to the plate. That’s an underrated part of pitching. His changeup is pretty dang good too. Watching Castillo so long I could tell early what he was throwing, but Lodolo really has that same arm slot working.
    We just need to get more guys hitting now!
    They’re throwing lefties at us nonstop which was predictable

    • redfanorbust

      He did look great and I am happy with the results but mostly happy with no reoccurrence from his injury! I will remain cautiously optimistic with him as his wins have come against the White Sox and Angels.

  24. Mark A Verticchio

    Better line up today? Thompson playing, no Benson, and unbelievably even with Candy and CES playing Fairchild is still batting 3rd. What is Bell thinking?

    • greenmtred

      He’s probably thinking that it doesn’t matter very much.

    • greenmtred

      You have noticed that both Candy and CES are below the Mendoza line? And that they are returning from being sick for several days and may not be at their best?

  25. Old-school

    MLB Tommy john epidemic continues. Promising Reds from years prior Gutierrez then Moreta and now Duarte.

  26. redfanorbust

    Reds are doing pretty good especially given three top starters out, two freak ST injuries and one guys mindless decision to use steroids all for lengthy periods of time. Wonder how any team or the Dodgers for example, would be faring right now if they lost Freeman, Betts and Ohtani? Now Reds have two more starters with a undisclosed illness for few days. Can being abducted by aliens be far behind?

  27. Sarah Lee

    De La Cruz homers and Lodolo’s pitching: a dynamic duo igniting the field with power and finesse, setting the stage for victory.