Six hours before he was to take the mound for his start Thursday against the Cincinnati Reds, T.J. House was looking forward to the opportunity to grab a bat and dig in at the plate for the first time as a major leaguer.
The Indians rookie left-hander shared his thoughts via social media around 1:30 p.m., Tweeting, “First time getting to hit in 6-1/2 years tonight.....yeah this is gonna be fun.”
By the time the host Reds had chased House from the game one batter into the seventh inning, he’d gone 0-for-2 with two strikeouts against Reds starter Homer Bailey. If nothing else, it was a reminder that for as much fun as it might have been to hit the last time he did - as a Louisiana high school senior, but not so much in the big leagues.
Lucky for House (1-3), he wasn’t the only one that Bailey (9-5) tamed on the night in the Reds 4-0 victory in front of 31, 862 at Great American BallPark.
The right-hander held the Indians to four hits and a walk over a seven-inning shutout that included eight strikeouts.
In the meantime, the Reds offense struck against House early, with two runs in the first inning and solo runs in the second and sixth innings. In his six innings plus outing, House surrendered four runs (three earned) on eight hits and a walk. He struck out five and threw 55 of his 85 pitches for strikes.
The unearned run was the first of the game, as Billy Hamilton’s speed spooked Santana into the first of his first two errors of the season at first base. Hamilton led off the bottom of the inning with a base hit, sped from first to third on a Jay Bruce infield single then came home on a Santana error.
The speedster was on base two more times, driving in one of the Reds two second-inning runs. Kristopher Negron drove in the fourth and final run after Todd Frazier walked to lead off the sixth, stole second and scored on Negron’s single to right field.
The victory handed the Reds a 3-games-to-1 series victory in the Ohio Cup, as it returned to the Queen City for the first time since 2010. Negron, who went 7-for-13 with a home run, two doubles, four runs scored and five RBI, was the runaway winner for the Cup's Most Outstanding Player.