ST. LOUIS -- On Monday night, when the Cardinals badly needed a win to help their postseason chances, the Reds' offense instead cleaned up with a wood shampoo that consisted of 22 hits and three home runs.It was a game chock full of big nights for many -- namely Steve
ST. LOUIS -- On Monday night, when the Cardinals badly needed a win to help their postseason chances, the Reds' offense instead cleaned up with a wood shampoo that consisted of 22 hits and three home runs.
It was a game chock full of big nights for many -- namely Steve Selsky with five hits and Brandon Phillips with four hits. But the biggest night belonged to Adam Duvall during the Reds' 15-2 rout at Busch Stadium. Duvall notched four hits and five RBIs -- both career highs -- while hitting two home runs and scoring four runs.
That got Duvall to the 100-RBI plateau in a breakout All-Star season. He also has a career-high 33 homers. He is the first Reds player since Jay Bruce in 2013 to have at least 30 homers, 30 doubles and 100 RBIs, and Duvall is the 13th to do it in club history.
"At the beginning of the season, it's not something you set out for, you don't know how the season's going to go," Duvall said. "Throughout the season, I've had a lot of chances to drive runners in because the guys in front of me have gotten on. ... I'm definitely proud of myself for taking advantage of that situation."
A season such as this seemed improbable going into Spring Training, when Duvall had no guaranteed job after being acquired at the 2015 non-waiver Trade Deadline from the Giants for pitcher Mike Leake. Duvall's year didn't seem any more probable when the season started with him and Scott Schebler as a platoon in left field.
By the time April ended, Duvall made the job his own and kept going to hit 23 homers in the first half.
"We knew he had been an up-and-down player with the Giants," manager Bryan Price said. "We knew he didn't swing the bat terribly well in Triple-A after the trade. And we got a sparse look at him here in September, but we traded for him because we all felt here organizationally that he had the ability to play here. However, we didn't know how much. ... He's surpassed anybody's grandest expectations, I can tell you that."
With a drive to left field, Duvall's first homer came on the heels of Joey Votto's 27th blast in the first inning. Duvall added an RBI single in the seven-run fourth inning and returned in the fifth inning with a three-run homer to left field that put him at the century mark for RBIs.
Because he could hit for power in the Minors all the way up, Duvall never doubted he could have a year like this.
"It's just I've never had an opportunity to do it at this level. It is gratifying to show people that I can do it at this level," he said.
As is wont to happen in a grind of a 162-game season, Duvall's pace slowed in the second half as he came into the game batting .221 -- including .179 in September.
Overall, Duvall is batting .242 with a .296 on-base percentage, but he has a .505 slugging percentage.
"You're going to have your ups and downs, that's part of the game of baseball," Duvall said. "It's definitely a learning experience. There's a knack for driving in runs, so I think I've learned a lot this year."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.