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Hard outs a good sign for Suarez's swing

MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez made an out and couldn't build on the winning rally during Wednesday's 2-0 victory vs. the Phillies. But if Suarez can continue to make contact like he did on his sharply-struck lineout to center field, he might be in for a nice 2017 season.

Against Jerad Eickhoff with Adam Duvall on second base in the seventh inning, Suarez's drive to Odubel Herrera had an 108-mph exit velocity and a 13-degree launch angle, according to Statcast™. That combination gave the ball a 77-percent hit probability, but Herrera still made the catch for the first out.

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CINCINNATI -- Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez made an out and couldn't build on the winning rally during Wednesday's 2-0 victory vs. the Phillies. But if Suarez can continue to make contact like he did on his sharply-struck lineout to center field, he might be in for a nice 2017 season.

Against Jerad Eickhoff with Adam Duvall on second base in the seventh inning, Suarez's drive to Odubel Herrera had an 108-mph exit velocity and a 13-degree launch angle, according to Statcast™. That combination gave the ball a 77-percent hit probability, but Herrera still made the catch for the first out.

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"It's a good sign. When you hit the ball like that, you know your swing is right," Suarez said on Thursday morning.

It was the hardest-hit out of Suarez's career.

"That's the swing that I want this year," Suarez said. "That's what I've been working on, making that swing every single at-bat. That's what I've tried to do. My first couple of at-bats, my swing wasn't like that one. I think I've found my swing now."

Suarez also grounded out to third base and struck out during his 0-for-3 game on Wednesday, but he recorded his first hit of the season on a ground-rule double in the second inning of Thursday's series finale with the Phillies. He slugged 21 home runs last season in his first full year as a regular in the big leagues. During Spring Training, he batted .264 with two homers.

Video: CIN@CLE: Suarez homers to right-center

"I felt good in Spring Training," Suarez said. "I worked on my defense and everything. Right now, we feel ready to be good in this new season."

Worth noting

• With pitcher Rookie Davis and catcher Stuart Turner both starting on Thursday vs. the Phillies, it marked the first time in modern history that the Reds had starting batterymates making their Major League debut in the same game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time it happened in the league was Sept. 4, 2008, when the Nationals started pitcher Shairon Martis and catcher Luke Montz vs. the Braves.

• Reliever Nefi Ogando, who is on the 10-day disabled list with inflammation in his right thumb, traveled to the Reds' complex in Goodyear, Ariz., on Thursday so he could resume a throwing program.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

 

Cincinnati Reds, Eugenio Suarez