CINCINNATI -- Brewers veteran Aaron Hill had quietly been getting hot for a while, but there was nothing quiet about his Saturday night.
Hill drove in seven runs by hitting three of the Brewers' five home runs, including a tying solo shot in the eighth inning and a go-ahead grand slam in the 10th for a 13-7 win over the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Hill's second career grand slam highlighted a seven-run outburst against Reds relievers Caleb Cotham and Drew Hayes.
"A lot of people did a great job. The bullpen did a great job, too," said manager Craig Counsell, a reference to the four innings of spotless relief before the Brewers' big rally. "And Aaron kept chipping away, basically."
Hill matched single-game Brewers records for home runs and RBIs in the team's best individual offensive performance in more than two years. Ryan Braun hit three home runs with seven RBIs in a victory at Philadelphia on April 8, 2014. In all, there have been 20 three-homer games in Brewers history, and nine seven-RBI games.
Braun and Jonathan Lucroy also homered to bail out Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson, who surrendered runs in four of his five innings and gave up a season-high five earned runs. The Reds built leads of 4-0 and 6-2 against Nelson as Brandon Phillips homered for the fourth straight game -- the first of Phillips' two blasts -- and Billy Hamilton stole a pair of runs with his legs before the Brewers mounted their comeback.
"You tip your hat to the fact that they didn't give up," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "They fell behind early, they stayed on the attack. Aaron Hill had a huge night for them, and their bullpen kept it close and gave them a chance to get back in."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Getting hot: Hill has been coming on for Milwaukee, following a 6-for-19 (.316) homestand with hits in each of the first three games of this series in Cincinnati, including his first multi-homer game of the season on Saturday, and the first three-homer game of his career. His most impressive at-bat might have been the one against Reds starter Brandon Finnegan in the the sixth inning, when Hill fell into an 0-2 hole but fouled off four pitches on the way to a 10-pitch at-bat, which finally ended with a two-run home run to left field.
"Sometimes you have an at-bat like that, where you see a bunch of pitches and you hit a bunch of foul balls and take a bunch of swings in one at-bat -- I thought that was a great at-bat to end up in a home run," Counsell said. "He did a nice job getting himself in some nice counts and did damage." More >
Warp speed: Hamilton showed off his most dangerous asset when he came around to score from first base on a two-run single by Joey Votto in the fifth inning. According to Statcast™, it took Hamilton just 8.2 seconds to go from first to home on the play. It's the fastest time ever recorded by Statcast™, which clocked Hamilton reaching a top speed of 21.8 mph on the play. Hamilton's speed produced the first run of the game. He walked in the first inning, stole second base and then stole third. The Brewers made it easy for him when Hernan Perez forgot to cover the bag, allowing catcher Lucroy's throw to reach left field and Hamilton to head home. More >
Right at home(r): Braun got the Brewers' comeback bid going by going deep in his favorite venue. His fourth-inning home run was Braun's 19th at Great American Ball Park, his highest total of any road venue. The only opponents with more homers here are Lance Berkman (23) and Albert Pujols (20).
Make that four: Phillips has now hit home runs in four straight games after slugging a pair of solo homers. The first came with two outs in the third inning to give the Reds a 4-0 lead. He added a second solo shot in the 10th inning to account for the final score. The streak is a career high for Phillips and leaves him one away from equaling the Reds' club record, shared by six players. More >
"I don't know if I can predict that. That's like seeing a dolphin in Lake Michigan or something like that." -- Counsell, having some fun with Hill's big night by planting the Brewers' word of the day, dolphin, into his postgame comments
"I just didn't have my best stuff. I tried to battle through with what I had. I did well for the most part but they got a couple of balls in the air and they flew. That's what happens." -- Finnegan, on his start
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Saturday night was the 1,000th time Phillips and Votto played alongside each other on the right side of the Reds infield. It is the most by any right-side infield tandem in team history and the highest total of any active combination in the Major Leagues. It is the eighth highest total for first baseman-second baseman duos in MLB history since 1900.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Brewers left fielder Braun and fans in the front row all took a stab at catching Phillips' home run, which bounced on top of the wall and into the seats. Just to be sure there was no fan interference on the play, the Gary Cederstrom-led umpiring crew took a look at the replay, and quickly confirmed it was a home run.
Sean Barber umpired at first base Saturday in place of Eric Cooper, who suffered a tendon injury in his right foot avoiding contact on a pickoff play in the ninth inning on Friday. Cooper, who limped off the field after getting hurt, is expected to be sidelined 10-14 days, according to a report relayed by the Reds.
Brewers: After logging his first Major League win in a start at Miller Park, Junior Guerra will make his first road start on Sunday against the Reds beginning at 12:10 p.m. CT. Guerra, 31, was the first player acquired by Brewers general manager David Stearns after Stearns took over last fall.
Reds: John Lamb makes his second start of the season in the series finale against the Brewers at 1:10 p.m. ET. He used a lot of pitches (103) in his first outing against San Francisco, but he still gave the Reds a quality start, going six innings, allowing just one run on six hits.
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