CINCINNATI - The defending National League Central champions are hoping that their extra-long opening-day loss doesn't affect their lineup well into the season.
CINCINNATI — The defending National League Central champions are hoping that their extra-long opening-day loss doesn’t affect their lineup well into the season.
Left fielder Ryan Ludwick suffered a dislocated right shoulder during a 3-1, 13-inning loss to the Los Angeles Angels yesterday, giving the Reds a big worry only one game into the season.
Ludwick’s hand stuck in the dirt on his headfirst slide into third base in the third inning, making his shoulder pop out of place. He left the game and will have an MRI exam today to determine the severity of the injury.
“You hate to see a guy come off the field holding his arm,” manager Dusty Baker said. “It’s disheartening. We’ve done so well the last couple of years with injuries.”
The Reds won 97 games last season by avoiding significant injuries — except for first baseman Joey Votto missing 48 games because of torn knee cartilage . Ludwick was their top run producer in Votto’s absence and decided to stay in Cincinnati for two more years and $15 million.
Now, they are going to have to fill in for him.
“The ground was a little wet, and when I hit the ground, my hand stopped,” Ludwick said. “ Normally, it slides with you. … This wasn’t the best opening day.”
The Reds felt the same way about the ending.
Chris Iannetta singled with the bases loaded in the 13th inning, deciding the first interleague opener in history. It was the second year in a row that a first game in Ohio wouldn’t end.
Last year, the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Cleveland Indians 7-4 in 16 innings, the longest opener in 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 the score tied at 1.
J.J. Hoover walked two and hit Hank Conger — the Angels’ final position player — to load the bases with two outs in the 13th. Iannetta worked the count full, fouled off a couple of pitches, then singled to left.
With that, the Reds were headed to a loss in their longest season-opener since 1975, when they defeated the Los Angeles 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 victory. Ernesto Frieri, the Angels’ seventh pitcher, completed an impressive showing by the bullpen, which allowed only one hit over the final seven innings.
Shin-Soo Choo had a solid debut as the Reds’ leadoff hitter, reaching base three times. He doubled in the third, advanced on a groundout and scored on Jered Weaver’s wild pitch.
The Angels’ biggest offseason move was signing Josh Hamilton, who had a nostalgic start to the season. He started his comeback in Cincinnati on opening day 2007 after years of drug abuse.
Hamilton got a loud ovation from fans who wished he had stayed for more than a year; Cincinnati traded him to Texas after one season. Hamilton was 0 for 4 with two walks.