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Gennett 4-for-4, but only concerned with 0-1

Reds' 2B records 3 knocks off Scherzer, who otherwise proved stingy
MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- Sure, it's a small sample size for Scooter Gennett after he went 4-for-4 on Opening Day. Gennett is now batting 1.000 with a 2.250 OPS after one game. But there was only one stat that counted to the second baseman once the Reds finished playing the Nationals on Friday.

Zero-and-one. That was Cincinnati's record after a 2-0 loss to Washington. Gennett notched three hits against ace Max Scherzer and one against reliever Ryan Madson in a perfect personal day and a not-so-good day for the team.

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CINCINNATI -- Sure, it's a small sample size for Scooter Gennett after he went 4-for-4 on Opening Day. Gennett is now batting 1.000 with a 2.250 OPS after one game. But there was only one stat that counted to the second baseman once the Reds finished playing the Nationals on Friday.

Zero-and-one. That was Cincinnati's record after a 2-0 loss to Washington. Gennett notched three hits against ace Max Scherzer and one against reliever Ryan Madson in a perfect personal day and a not-so-good day for the team.

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"That's all that matters -- the loss today. Whether 4-for-4 or 0-for-4, I suffer the same way. It's not a good feeling," Gennett said.

With 10 strikeouts over six innings, Scherzer dominated the Reds' lineup, but not all of it. He could not retire Gennett.

In his first at-bat, Gennett hit a liner through the right side and hustled his way to second base for an easy double in the second inning. With two outs in the fourth, during a 10-pitch at-bat, Gennett fouled off five consecutive pitches before hitting a single into right field. In the sixth, Gennett lofted a soft single into short center field.

"When you're facing a guy like that, you can't watch strikes go by," Gennett said. "You get 0-1, you feel like you've already struck out against a guy like that. For me, if it looks like a strike, I will swing and keep it that simple."

In the eighth, off Madson, Gennett singled for his fourth hit of the game. It was the first four-hit Opening Day game for a Reds player since Ramon Hernandez did it vs. the Brewers in 2011, when he also hit a walk-off homer against the Brewers.

Video: Must C Clutch: Hernandez gives Reds a walk-off win

"You couldn't have a better day at the plate than Scooter did. Just really good professional at-bats," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Only one player last season managed a three-hit game off Scherzer: Michael Conforto of the Mets on April 23.

Entering the day, Gennett was 1-for-10 with five strikeouts in his career vs. Scherzer.

Scherzer struck out seven in a row after Gennett's double and allowed five hits overall.

"We needed to put balls in play," Price said. "We had some baserunners and some opportunities. However, when you don't put the ball in play, you can't advance runners and nothing really happens. There's no advance."

Seven of the Reds' starting nine struck out against Scherzer at least once. Only Joey Votto and Gennett didn't go down on strikes. But Votto didn't reach safely, until singling in the eighth, and Gennett only enjoyed some success on a tough afternoon against the two-time defending National League Cy Young Award winner.

"He did his job today," Reds left fielder Jesse Winker said of Gennett. "I'm happy he got off on the right foot, and to do it against a guy who is the best in the game."

The Reds were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine.

"We couldn't get that timely hit in certain situations," Gennett said. "[Scherzer] is the type of guy that if you give him some breathing room, he will take full advantage."

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, Scooter Gennett