CINCINNATI — Hoping to spark a level-playing offense, the Cincinnati Reds promoted a running back to another big team on Monday and inserted Cristian Encarnacion Strand into the starting lineup against the San Francisco Giants in his major league debut.
The 23-year-old flew to right on his first at-bat, striking out the seventh as the designated hitter, and striking out in the fifth. He was among four rookies in the starting lineup for the Reds, joining third baseman Eli de la Cruz, shortstop Matt McLean and pitcher Brandon Williamson.
“It means a lot,” said Encarnacion Strand. “Now, I play with a really good group of guys. The guys were always so welcoming. Same thing in spring training, they were absolutely amazing to me. I don’t feel pressured or anxious to go out there with them.”
Ryan forced a shutout with the game tied on 2nd and 1 in the top of the eighth inning, so Encarnacion Strand stayed 0-2. The match is scheduled to resume at 5:40 p.m. Tuesday, before the 7:10 p.m. match time. The Giants, who have won five straight and six of seven, have two second- and third-place runners.
Encarnación-Strand, a native of Walnut Creek, Calif., hit . 331 with 21 doubles, 20 homers and 62 RBI with a 1.042 OPS in 67 games this year for Triple-A Louisville. He led the International League with 177 total bases.
According to Major League Baseball, at 27 letters, it’s the longest name in major league history, five times longer than that of Minnesota pitcher Simeon Woods Richardson. MLB included the hyphen in his account.
“He played well,” Reds general manager Nick Krall said. “He deserved to be shot with Kevin on the injured list.”
Player Kevin Newman has been placed on the 10-day list for gastritis, a move backdated to Friday.
“It was the perfect time to bring him in,” Krall said. “He’s made adjustments over the last couple of months. He’s getting better off the bat. With that he’s still showing his strength.” “He was able to hit out of the zone, but lowering his chase rate brought him into the zone more. It allowed him to improve at Triple-A.”
Cincinnati entered Monday with a four-game losing streak after being swept in a three-game series in Milwaukee. The Reds were shut out in three straight games before Sunday’s 4-3 loss.
Encarnacion Strand was Minnesota’s fourth-round pick in the 2021 amateur draft. He was acquired this past August along with outfielder/outfielder Spencer Steer and left fielder Steve Haggar to work right hand Tyler Mahley.