If a player's first at-bat of the season is any indication, then Cesar Hernandez is going to have himself a pretty good year. The Phillies second baseman, who hit a career-high six home runs last season opened the Phillies season with a home run off starter Scott Feldman (0-1). From there, the Phillies used an RBI double from Michael Saunders to take a 2-0 lead in the first inning on the way to a 4-3 win over the Reds.
Freddy Galvis also set a career-high in home runs last season with 20 - the first time he even hit in double-digits - and he also hit his first home run of the season against Cincinnati to put the Phillies up 2-0 in the top of the second. Jeremy Hellickson capped the scoring with an RBI triple to drive in Galvis in the top of the sixth inning as the Phillies jumped to a 4-1 lead.
http://www.scout.com/mlb/phillies/story/1763489-the-benefits-of-being-a-... Hellickson (1-0) went five innings and gave up a leadoff double to Adam Duvall in the bottom of the sixth that got him lifted from the game by manager Pete Mackanin. Hellickson had only thrown 67 pitches, allowing six hits and a walk. Twice the Reds loaded the bases against Hellickson, but he was able to pitch out of the trouble. Joaquin Benoit, Edubray Ramos and Hector Neris all threw a shutout inning in relief to set up closer Jeanmar Gomez.
Gomez, who had a meltdown late last season, struggled in his first save opportunity of 2017, giving up a two-run home run to Scooter Gennett with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but hung on to get the save.
Howie Kendrick had hits in his first three at-bats and finished the day 3-for-5 in his first official game with the Phillies. Saunders, another newcomer, went 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. Brock Stassi made his major league debut with a pinch-hit appearance in the eighth inning, hitting for Ramos, and drew a walk.
Hellickson legged out a triple in the sixth inning to drive home Galvis, but if Hellickson was telling the truth, it's the last triple he'll ever hit.
"I was catching my breath for about 30 minutes after I got back in here. Last time I'm doing that. Next time, I'm stopping at second," Hellickson told reporters after the game.
The triple came with Reds right fielder Scott Schebler tried to make a diving catch on Hellickson's fly ball, but the ball scooted past Schebler and rolled to the fence, prompting third base coach Juan Samuel to wave Hellickson on to third base.
Hellickson and Hernandez set some milestones for Phillies hitters on Opening Day. Hellickson's triple was the first by a Phillies pitcher on Opening Day since Erskine Mayer tripled against the Boston Braves in the 1918 season opener. And Hernandez' leadoff home run was the first time a Phillies batter led off the season opener with a home run since 1938 when Heinie Mueller opened the season with a leadoff longball.
Tuesday is an off day for the two teams, who resume the three-game series Wednesday when Jerad Eickhoff starts for the Phillies against Brandon Finnegan. Clay Buchholz starts for the Phillies Thursday against the Reds aptly named Rookie Davis, who will be making his major league debut. The home opener is Friday and will feature Vince Velasquez pitching for the Phillies against the Washington Nationals, who will counter with Max Scherzer.