Rookie Sal Romano’s first start as a Red was a short, wild ride that led to a 4-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brwers on Easter Sunday.
Romano was all over the place in his Major League debut. He attacked the strike zone for 20 innings in Goodyear during spring training but was sent to Louisville to work on his change up.
“It was overwhelming. It was a dream come true," Romano said.. " There is no describing how I felt walking out to the mound. I’m not known to walk people. I have to keep pounding the strike zone. At least I’ve got this out of the way. Being my first game I was pumped.”
The 23-year old, who has just two starts above Double A, went to a 3-2 count on all five hitters he faced in the first inning. It took 31 pitches to throw a scoreless frame in which he walked two. Romano gave up a double and hit a batter in the second inning but pitched out of it.
"We knew exactly what we were doing with these young pitchers," Bryan Price said. "As the starting pitchers mature and grow, we'll start getting deeper in games with better starts."
Arismendy Alcantara got the start at secondbase to stay sharp and give Jose Peraza a rest. He dropped a foul ball hit down the rightfield line by Ryan Braun for an error. Braun didn’t reach base but it forced Romano to throw more pitches. In the third inning Alcantara bobbled a ground ball from Eric Thames, leading off the inning. Braun reached the rightfield bleachers with a home run. Travis Shaw hit a long home run to go back-to-back on his 27th birthday. It was Braun’s fourth home run and put him ahead of Cecil Cooper for second on the Brewers all-time RBI list with 945. Shaw’s blast was his second of the season.
The Reds threatened Wily Peralta, the Brewers’ starter in the first inning. Billy Hamilton walked but Manny Pina threw Hamilton out stealing. Alcantara walked and went to third on Joey Votto’s single. Adam Duvall hit a smash headed for leftfield but Shaw made a stop on his knees to start a double play to get out of the inning.
Peralta retired eight in a row after that but walked Duvall two out into the fourth Eugenio Suarez belted his third home run of the season.
Tim Adleman, called up this morning from Louisville, replaced Romano. He gave up a home run to Thames hit his fifth home run of this series and sixth of the season leading off the seventh.
Adleman pitched four innings with the one run allowed on two hits, no walks and five strikeouts..
Peralta worked sis innings, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks.
Jacob Barnes took over for the Brewers.
Barnes, Coreay Knebel and Neftali Feliiz limited the Reds to two hits over the last three innings.