Pete Rose drove in three runs with a double and a single and Mario Soto allowed four hits in seven innings today to spark the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Expos in a season opener that was twice delayed by snowstorms.
Rose, starting his first full season as Reds' player-manager, boosted his career hit total to 4,099, 92 short of Ty Cobb's all-time record of 4,191.
Rose said his success at the plate today was at least partly due to having two respected hitters, Dave Parker and Cesar Cedeno, hitting behind him in the batting order.
"The guy behind me's swinging the bat well, and Cedeno is, too," said Rose, who turns 44 on Sunday. "I've always said, you're only as good as the guy behind you and the guy in front of you. I'll get good pitches to hit. The only thing is, I've got to hit them."
Soto, starting his fourth consecutive opener for Cincinnati, struck out five, walked two and allowed a run over seven innings. Rookie Carl Willis worked the final two innings for a save. Loser Steve Rogers, making his ninth opening-day start in 10 years, lasted 4 2/3 innings.
The game was interrupted twice in the fifth inning by snow. The game-time temperature was 39 degrees.
"That was the first time I've pitched in snow," said Soto, a native of the Dominican Republic. "I think it's kind of neat. I think I enjoy snow delays more than rain delays. Rain is bad; snow I kind of like."
With two out in the fifth, Soto singled and Eric Davis doubled down the left field line. Rose then sliced a double down the left field line for two runs. Parker followed with a single to right -- the fourth straight hit off Rogers -- to score Rose. Following a 40-minute snow delay, Rogers was relieved by Tim Burke, making his major-league debut.
Cincinnati added a run off Burke in the seventh when Davis walked, stole second and third and scored on Rose's line single to right.
Montreal scored in the seventh when Hubie Brooks tripled and came home on Tim Wallach's ground out.