Memories of “The Big Red Machine” and Carlton Fisk’s Game 6 heroics will most certainly be in the air when the Reds and Red Sox play the opener of their interleague series, their first meeting since Game 7 of the 1975 World Series.
When last the teams met, the Reds were in the midst of winning their first of back-to-back world championships. The victory over the Red Sox was gut-wrenching as they battled back from losing Game 6 on Fisk’s “stay fair” home run down the left-field line to win the series on the road on Joe Morgan’s bloop single in the ninth inning of Game 7.
For Cincinnati, it was another feather in the cap of a team that featured Hall of Famers Morgan, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez.
Ken Griffey started all seven World Series games for the Reds. His son, Ken Griffey Jr., played many games in Fenway Park while with the Seattle Mariners, but Monday will mark his first regular season game in Boston since joining the Reds in 2000.
On Sunday, Griffey Jr. hit his 512th career home run, a two-run shot that helped the Reds defeat Baltimore 10-6. The homer also moved him into a tie with Eddie Matthews and Ernie Banks for 16th place on the all-time list.
Rich Aurilia homered and drove in a season-high four runs for the Reds, who had 16 hits and finished their homestand 5-1.
Cincinnati scored 10 or more runs in four of the last five games of the homestand after just missing with nine in the opener.
“It’s nice to see,” Reds manager Dave Miley said. “It’s something we’ve talked about. I thought we started swinging the bats better in the last two games at Colorado, and this whole homestand, we did a real good job. We need to bottle up this homestand and take it on the road to Boston for three days.”
The Red Sox have lost four of their last six interleague games, dropping their record against the National League this season to 4-5.
Damon doubled in the third, homered in the fifth and broke open the game with a two-run triple in the sixth.