ATLANTA — — Hard pitching Hunter Greene won on his major league debut, Kyle Farmer hit a two-run single in a five-run third inning and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Atlanta Braves 6-3 on Sunday .
Greene (1-0) lived up to his reputation as a top prospect with crushing speed. He consistently hit 100 mph on the radar gun, topped 102 in the fourth and was still hitting triple digits in his final run. The right-hander allowed three runs, four hits and three walks with seven strikeouts in five innings.
The Reds took a 5-0 lead in the third. Jonathan India walked and scored from first when Tyler Naquin doubled into the corner of right field. Braves starter Ian Anderson (0-1) charged on a pair of walks, giving up two more runs on a forced out and a Colin Moran single. Sean Newcomb then gave up a two-run single to Farmer.
Tyler Stephenson made it 6-1 in the fifth with a homer left from Newcomb.
Greene, at 22 years and 247 days, became the youngest starting pitcher to debut in Cincinnati since Mike Leake received no decision on April 11, 2010 against the Chicago Cubs.
Greene, the No. 2 draft pick in 2017, is the Reds’ top prospect according to MLB Pipeline and No. 2 according to Baseball America. He missed the 2019 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Matt Olson felt a 100 mph fastball in the first for Greene’s first strikeout, but Olson picked a 102 mph fastball to start the fourth for Atlanta’s first hit. After Austin Riley doubled, Olson scored on Marcell Ozuna’s sacrifice ball to make it 5-1.
Travis d’Arnaud and Olson homered in the fifth against Greene to cut the lead to 6-3. It was Olson’s first homer since replacing Freddie Freeman as the Braves’ daily first baseman after being traded from Oakland and signing an eight-year, $168 million contract.
Anderson, making his first start since going five clean innings to win Game 3 of the World Series, allowed a career-high five runs, five walks and three hits in 2 2/3 sleeves.
Luis Cessa pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief, Tony Santillan had four outs and Art Warren worked the ninth for Cincinnati. Manager David Bell brought in Santillan, who made his first career save on Thursday, in the seventh to take on Eddie Rosario with a runner-first and the Reds sitting on a three-point lead with Olson, who went 3 for 4, on the bridge.
Rosario appeared to end the threat. Warren made his first career save facing the minimum.
Each team won twice in the four-game series to open the season.
Reds LHP Mike Minor (left shoulder) will make a rehab debut Wednesday at Double-A Chattanooga. … Cincinnati RHP Luis Castillo (right shoulder) will play wrestling on the day off Monday and is scheduled for another bullpen session Tuesday. … Reds 2B Donovan Solano (left hamstring) ran on Saturday and took grounders on Sunday.
Farmer, the Cincinnati shortstop, retired the last two batters in the sixth with shallow overhand catches left and center.
Greene hit 100 mph with 20 pitches, tied for eighth among starting pitchers in all games since pitch tracking began in 2008. He trailed only Jacob deGrom (33 and 28), Nathan Eovaldi (28 ), Yordano Ventura (26), Noah Syndergaard (24 and 21) and James Paxton (24), and tied with Sandy Alcántara.
Reds RHP Tyler Mahle (1-0) will make his second start Tuesday in Cincinnati’s home opener against Cleveland RHP Shane Bieber (0-0).
The Braves RHP Huascar Ynoa (0-0) will make their season debut Monday at home against an as-yet-unannounced starter for Washington. Aníbal Sánchez was due to compete in the national championships, but suffers from a stiff neck.