CINCINNATI — For both reigning National League Rookie of the entire year — second baseman Jonathan India of the Reds — and the 2021 runner-up — pitcher Trevor Rogers of the Marlins — their sophomore efforts haven’t come near matching their debut seasons.
Both burgeoning stars met on Monday night at Great American Ball Park, also it was India who continued to appear most poised to improve the narrative along with his recent performances. His best showing of 2022 came through the Reds’ 11-2 series-opening victory over Miami. Because the designated hitter, India went 3-for-4 with a walk and delivered the initial grand slam of his big league career. All that has been lacking was the triple that could have meant hitting for the cycle.
“The longer you play, the higher youre likely to enter this game,” India said. “The more games I log, playing each day, Ill progress. Hopefully thats an indicator Ill progress. Personally i think good at this time. Im ready.”
The largest moment of India’s night came in the fifth inning with the bases loaded against reliever Zach Pop. India slugged a 2-0 sinker in to the second deck of seats in left field for his grand slam — his sixth homer of the growing season.
“That guy had an excellent sinker and was throwing hard in,” India said. “I tried to clip it at the proper angle. Its hard going to those sinkerballers. I tried to obtain my hands through it as quick as you possibly can. I acquired it there.”
Against Rogers, who’s now 4-10 with a 5.85 ERA in 19 starts, India opened underneath of the initial hitting a first-pitch four-seam fastball externally corner for a double to left field. On an identical pitch from Rogers in the three-run third inning, he hit a 104.7 mph single on the floor through the center.
“I was definitely looking towards facing him. He won it this past year for grounds,” Rogers said. “He previously an extremely good approach today. He got me, so just tip your cap and hopefully I reach face him further along later on and move on to compete again.”
India’s lone possiblity to complete the cycle came while leading off underneath of the seventh inning against reliever Jordan Holloway. India hit a 2-2 breaking ball to left field for the initial out.
It would’ve been the initial cycle by way of a Cincinnati player since Eric Davis on June 2, 1989. A triple was on India’s mind, for certain.
“Oh my God, needless to say,” he said. “I was thinking it the complete at-bat. I was hoping he dove for that ball [and] missed it. That has been an excellent swing.”
India led an offense that had no shortage of producers. Following a two-out walk in the fourth inning, No. 2 hitter Brandon Drury supplied a three-run homer to create it a 6-2 game.
Drury’s homer designed for a less strenuous night for Reds rookie starter Nick Lodolo, who turned in a career-high six innings and allowed two unearned runs on five hits, two walks and nine strikeouts.
“Especially, I believe, since he’s keep coming back, Personally i think like he’s sort of turned it on at the very least the final week I’ve noticed,” Lodolo said of India. “Best for the team, it’s best for him. But it’s definitely good to see. You can view you can transform it around.”
India was a lineup scratch from Sunday’s make an impression on the Cardinals with a left thigh contusion stemming from the hard headfirst slide at the plate on Saturday. He was spared a far more serious injury after two stints on the injured list with the right hamstring strain cost him a combined 48 games earlier this year.
As a rookie, India slugged 21 homers having an .835 OPS and 69 RBIs, but this season the first injury took a toll. Although hitting only .220 in 32 games since returning from the IL, and .240 with a .695 OPS in 43 games overall, he’s played well entering and appearing out of the All-Star break. India has hit safely in nine of his past 10 games, with four homers, 10 RBIs and nine runs scored.
I believe Jons personality, he likely to step back in at the Major League level and pick right up where he left faraway from this past year,” Reds manager David Bell said. “Thats why is him good. Simultaneously, its still an extremely tough game and he previously to play himself back to shape, back to the flow of timing, everything, everything related to why is this game challenging. It had been only a matter of time. The more hes played, the higher hes gotten.”