Ex-Cats

Marlins’ JT Riddle gets a Kentucky homecoming in first trip to Cincinnati

Miami Marlins infielder J.T. Riddle hits a single in the seventh inning of the Miami Marlins vs New York Mets, game at the Marlins Park in Little Havana in Miami on Tuesday April 02, 2019.
Miami Marlins infielder J.T. Riddle hits a single in the seventh inning of the Miami Marlins vs New York Mets, game at the Marlins Park in Little Havana in Miami on Tuesday April 02, 2019. pportal@miamiherald.com

Already in his third year playing in the majors, JT Riddle somehow has never gotten to play at Great American Ball Park.

The shortstop, who grew up about 60 miles away in Frankfort, went down with an injury just before the Miami Marlins’ trip to Cincinnati in 2017 and was still rehabbing another injury when they played their annual road series against the Cincinnati Reds in 2018.

On Tuesday, Riddle finally gets the Kentucky homecoming he’s been denied. Riddle, who was also starred for the Kentucky Wildcats, got tickets for nearly two dozen friends and family members who made the trip across state lines from Frankfort to Ohio to watch him and the Marlins (3-7) play the Reds (1-8) at 6:40 p.m.

“Probably about 20,” Riddle said, “and there will probably be some others.”

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Although Riddle didn’t grow up rooting for Cincinnati, the Reds are the closest MLB team to his hometown, so he made his fair share of trips to GABP throughout his childhood.

And despite a relatively slow start to the season, Riddle will get his chance to bust out of a slump in front of some familiar faces. Riddle, who is batting just .200 in 20 at-bats entering Tuesday, started at shortstop and batted sixth, and should be there for the entire three-game series as Cincinnati will send three right-handed starting pitchers to the hill.

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