Two big points about last night’s game that jump out in all of today’s game reports: Felipe Lopez’s 2 homer game, and Eric Milton’s strong start. Needless to say, many people breathed a sigh of relief after Milton didn’t get rocked yesterday.

Says Mark Sheldon at MLB.com:

Making his 2006 debut, Milton allowed two runs on six hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Following a trend started by Bronson Arroyo and Brandon Claussen in the last two nights — also wins — Milton (1-0) was the third-straight starter to not issue a walk.

“I thought Milton threw the ball really well,” Reds manager Jerry Narron said. “He gave us seven outstanding innings.” …

“I didn’t feel like the velocity was there tonight, but it was still getting it done,” Milton said. “Maybe it was the change to the first-base side of the mound or maybe it was sneaky or deceptive.”

During Spring Training, Milton shifted to the first-base side of the mound rubber at guest instructor Tom Browning’s suggestion. He had been working on the third-base side his whole career. Despite enduring a right calf strain early in camp, the left-hander often threw well and had more strength back in his legs after an offseason weight lifting program.

Whatever it was, it worked. It was a promising start to the season after Milton went 8-15 with a 6.47 ERA and 40 homers allowed in 2005 during the first year of a three-year $25.5 million free agent deal.

A Milton rebound will be a key towards boosting the rotation and the club’s chances at contending.

Indeed.

Here is Kevin Kelly’s story in the Enquirer, and Marc Lancaster says that Milton’s start was worth waiting for, through the rain delay.

While I’m at it, here’s Kelly’s story about yesterday’s Brandon Phillips acquisition.

Meanwhile, here’s what is going on around the Reds blogosphere:

–JinAZ’s thoughts on the game.
–Shawn was having visions of Danny Graves last night. Me, too.
–Red Hot Mama doesn’t miss the Evil Eric Milton from Bizarro World.
–JD attended the game, and he has his thoughts on the ballpark experience last night.