One year and two days after the Tigers traded Nick Castellanos, he accounted for six runs between the Tigers and Reds in Game 1 of MLB’s first-ever scheduled seven-inning doubleheader. He drove in three runs with homers in his first two at-bats, then was charged with a three-run error that tied the game in the sixth inning, before the Reds rallied on a Shogo Akiyama single for a 4-3 Detroit defeat.
Castellanos, the Tigers’ top Draft pick in 2010 and a Tiger for parts of seven seasons before being traded to the Cubs at last year’s Trade Deadline, signed as a free agent with the Reds last offseason. His second game in his old park was an eventful one, to say the least.
Castellanos, a noted critic of Comerica Park’s deep dimensions, opened Sunday’s scoring with a 410-foot drive into the visiting bullpen in deep left-center field for a two-run, first-inning homer off the Tigers' Rony García. Two innings later, Castellanos went to the opposite field, a 376-foot homer into the right-field seats to chase García from the game.
Reliever Tyler Alexander held the Reds' lead at 3-0 by striking out nine consecutive batters, setting a Major League record for a reliever and tying former Tiger Doug Fister’s American League record for any pitcher. In his season debut, Cincinnati starter Anthony DeSclafani tossed five scoreless innings to keep Detroit off the scoreboard, before the Tigers loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth against Lucas Sims. Victor Reyes hit a fly ball to the depths of right-center field, sending Castellanos on the run.
Both Castellanos and center fielder Nick Senzel seemed to have a read on it, but Senzel peeled off as Castellanos kept running. The ball hit off Castellanos’ glove and the bases cleared as Reyes rolled into third base. Closer Raisel Iglesias replaced Sims and retired Jeimer Candelario to hold the game there.
The Reds greeted Tigers closer Joe Jiménez with three consecutive hits, capped by Akiyama’s ground ball through a drawn-in infield to score Freddy Galvis from third base following his leadoff double.