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Votto heating up, homers for 3rd straight game

MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- In the past two weeks after a slow start where he didn't get many hits, or reach base, Reds first baseman Joey Votto has done both. And now in the last three games, Votto has found his power as well.

During the Reds' 7-4 loss to the Braves on Thursday at Great American Ball Park, it was Votto who gave his team new life. In the fifth inning with two outs and down by a 4-1 score, he hit the game-tying three-run home run to center field on a 93-mph, 0-1 fastball from Atlanta lefty Sean Newcomb.

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CINCINNATI -- In the past two weeks after a slow start where he didn't get many hits, or reach base, Reds first baseman Joey Votto has done both. And now in the last three games, Votto has found his power as well.

During the Reds' 7-4 loss to the Braves on Thursday at Great American Ball Park, it was Votto who gave his team new life. In the fifth inning with two outs and down by a 4-1 score, he hit the game-tying three-run home run to center field on a 93-mph, 0-1 fastball from Atlanta lefty Sean Newcomb.

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All three of Votto's homers have come in three straight games vs. Atlanta, the sixth time in his career where he's cleared the wall in three consecutive games.

"I'm just not missing. I think it's how hitting works out sometimes," Votto said.

Votto has also reached safely in 11 consecutive games. He had walked just three times in his first 15 games, but has walked 11 times in his previous eight. Batting .236 on April 15, the 34-year-old is batting .256/.358/.367 in 24 games with 14 walks and 14 strikeouts.

"We've seen this the last few years. He kind of was in that [down] area," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman. "Then by the end of April, mid-May, he's again putting up historic numbers with walks and power. It's very encouraging."

All three home runs were hit to the middle or opposite field against Atlanta.

On Tuesday vs. Brandon McCarthy, Votto hit a two-out homer to left field for his first homer of 2018. On Wednesday, he took Matt Wisler deep with a two-run homer to left field. The exit velocity on Thursday's homer, according to Statcast™, was 107.5 mph.

That's usually a sign of good things to come for left-handed Votto when he can access power to the left side of the field.

"I felt like I was trending in that direction, but they just weren't showing up in the game," Votto said. "That's just how the game works out sometimes."

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.

Cincinnati Reds, Joey Votto