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Degenerate39
03-30-2008, 10:51 AM
All-time Opening Day lineup
HERE'S THE SKINNY


Opening Day always has provided its share of outstanding individual performances by Reds players - including Adam Dunn, who belted five home runs over the last three openers. With the Reds set to open the season Monday at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks, here's a look at the top efforts at every position the past 50 years:

CATCHER

Bo Diaz, 1986

Performance: He went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run as the Reds rallied from an early three-run deficit for a 7-4 win. He singled and scored in a four-run second inning and then, after the Phillies tied it at 4 in the top of third, singled home a run in the bottom of the inning to put the Reds ahead for good.


FIRST BASEMAN

Pete Rose, 1985

Performance: In his first Opening Day as player-manager, Rose broke a scoreless tie with a two-run double. He also scored in a three-run fifth inning, then singled in a run in the seventh as the Reds beat the Montreal Expos 4-1.

SECOND BASEMAN

Joe Morgan, 1978

Performance: "Little Joe" came up big time and again as the Reds rallied to beat the Houston Astros 11-9. He homered in the first inning and, with the Reds trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Morgan doubled to drive in two runs and then scored the tying run. He doubled in two more runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it 11-5.

SHORTSTOP

Barry Larkin, 1990

Performance: In the team's wire-to-wire World Series championship year, Larkin got the Reds' season off to a good start when he broke a tie at 4 in the top of the 11th inning with a two-out, bases-loaded triple, then scored one batter later as the Reds beat the Astros 8-4 in Houston. The Reds started on the road because the season's start was pushed back due to a dispute between players and owners.

THIRD BASEMAN

Tony Perez, 1968

Performance: With the Reds leading 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Perez drilled a three-run homer off Pete Mikkelsen to break open the game and lead Cincinnati to a 9-4 win over the Chicago Cubs.

LEFT FIELDER

Adam Dunn, 2005

Performance: He belted a two-out, three-run homer in the first inning to give the Reds a 3-1 lead, then hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score at 6. Joe Randa homered in the next at-bat to give the Reds a 7-6 win over the New York Mets.

CENTER FIELDER

Eddie Milner, 1984

Performance: Milner provided plenty of early offensive fireworks as the Reds scored three runs in the first inning and four in the second to beat the New York Mets 8-1. He singled, stole a base and scored in the first inning, then slammed a three-run homer in the second.

RIGHT FIELDER

Paul O'Neill, 1989

Performance: Went 4-for-4 with three RBI and two runs in a 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. He hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the third inning to break open a 3-2 game.

STARTING PITCHER

Frank Pastore, 1980

Performance: In an otherwise rather undistinguished career, Pastore made a surprise start in the 1980 opener against the Atlanta Braves when Tom Seaver was scratched because of the flu. Pastore promptly pitched a three-hit shutout with no walks and five strikeouts in a 9-0 win.

RELIEF PITCHER

Jim O'Toole, 1960

Performance: O'Toole entered the opener with the Phillies in the top of the third inning after the Reds had rallied from a four-run deficit for a 5-4 lead. He tossed six scoreless innings, allowing two hits and two walks and striking out four, in a 9-4 Cincinnati victory. But he did not earn the win because Brooks Lawrence pitched one-third of an inning in relief before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the Reds' five-run second inning.

PINCH HITTER

Mark Sweeney, 1999

Performance: He helped spark a Cincinnati comeback from a 6-2 disadvantage with a three-run homer in a six-run sixth inning. But the Reds then blew that lead and lost to the San Francisco Giants 11-8.