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AP photo by Brynn Anderson / The Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds line up during the national anthem before their season opener Thursday night at Truist Park in Atlanta.

Updated with more information at 1:10 a.m. on April 8, 2022.

ATLANTA — The Cincinnati Reds watched with admiration as the Atlanta Braves celebrated their banner year.

Then the Reds launched a new season by outplaying the champions.

Tyler Mahle allowed only an unearned run in five innings to outpitch Max Fried, and Brandon Drury hit a three-run homer as Cincinnati won 6-3 on Thursday night at Truist Park to spoil the hosts' World Series celebration.

The Braves unveiled their 2021 pennant in right field in a pregame ceremony after two parachutists landed in the outfield carrying championship banners.

"It was great," Reds manager David Bell said. "It was fun to be part of that atmosphere, really."

Fried, the winning pitcher in the World Series-clinching Game 6 win over the Houston Astros last fall, couldn't repeat that success in his second straight start on an MLB opening day.

Fried (0-1) allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. He left the game with two runners on base before Drury's homer off Collin McHugh, who was making his Braves debut, landed in the Reds' bullpen behind the wall in left field.

Austin Riley hit a two-run homer for Atlanta off right-hander Dauri Moreta in the eighth.

Mahle (1-0) was sharp in his first opening day start as a major leaguer, allowing three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. The 27-year-old right-hander said he wasn't distracted by the Braves' pregame ceremony.

"I didn't really watch any of it, actually," he said. "I kind of heard it, but I was doing my own thing."

Bell said he was impressed by Mahle's perfect fifth inning.

"We've seen him do it a lot where he gets stronger during the game, but today said a lot about him because he hadn't really got that deep in a game in spring training," the manager said.

Photo Gallery

Atlanta Braves vs. Cincinnati Reds on April 7, 2022

Tony Santillan pitched a perfect ninth to earn his first MLB career save.

Kyle Farmer's second-inning single drove in Tyler Stephenson, who was hit on his foot by a pitch from Fried, for a 1-0 lead.

Fried was faced with the first bases-loaded, no-out situation of his career in the third. Joey Votto's single drove in Jonathan India. Aristides Aquino scored on Stephenson's lineout to right field for a 3-0 lead.

Votto, 38, entered the fifth inning with 6,724 career at-bats — and had never popped out to the pitcher. Votto experienced that career first when he ended the fifth with his popout to Fried.

Votto did an interview with the ESPN broadcast team while playing first base in the fourth inning, providing insight on his positioning and strategy while also reflecting on his 15-year career between pitches. He also joked about combatting his mid-life crisis with a gold or diamond tooth.

Atlanta rookie right-hander Spencer Strider, throwing fastballs timed at 100 mph, recorded five strikeouts in two perfect innings.

Chipper Jones, the Braves' former longtime third baseman who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The celebration will continue throughout the four-game series, including the presentation of World Series rings this weekend.

As for the Reds, their rotation could look much different by the end of the month. Left-hander Mike Minor (left shoulder soreness) will throw a simulated game in Atlanta on Friday. Right-hander Luis Castillo (right shoulder soreness) played catch on Thursday and will throw in the bullpen this weekend. Bell said Minor is "slightly" ahead of Castillo but that both could come off the 10-day injured list this month.

Reds left-hander Reiver Sanmartin (2-0, 1.54 ERA in 2021) is scheduled to face Braves right-hander Charlie Morton (14-6, 3.34) on Friday night.

Each of Sanmartin's wins in his first two MLB starts late last season came against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Morton showed no limitations this spring in his return after sustaining a broken leg when hit by a grounder in Game 1 of the World Series.

The new season brought with it a new option for teams, and Bell said his players enthusiastically support the PitchCom wristbands. The technology made available this year allows catchers to call pitches by punching a button on the wristband instead of flashing signs that can be stolen.

"Going into this, every one of our pitchers and catchers are going to use it," Bell said, adding "They loved it. I was shocked."

Braves manager Brian Snitker said his players "didn't warm up to it" and won't be using the new technology.

"I think at some point it might become a reality, but our guys didn't embrace it very well," Snitker said. "They didn't seem too eager to try it. And not to say we won't."

When asked why his players didn't like the PitchCom wristbands, Snitker said: "I didn't ask."

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