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Peraza slam, Reds' 9th of '18 ties team record

Cincy leads MLB in slams in '18; tied '10 Yanks' pre-AS break mark
MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- The Reds have not squandered many opportunities with the bases loaded lately. In the sixth inning of Sunday's 8-2 win over the Brewers, Jose Peraza came to the plate with the bases full and one out with Cincinnati already leading 4-0.

Peraza fell behind in the count 0-2 after seeing a pair of sliders from Milwaukee right-hander Aaron Wilkerson. He fouled off two fastballs and took another one low for a ball. When Wilkerson offered a fourth consecutive fastball, Peraza sent a towering drive that narrowly cleared the left-field wall for his fifth home run of the season and his first career grand slam.

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CINCINNATI -- The Reds have not squandered many opportunities with the bases loaded lately. In the sixth inning of Sunday's 8-2 win over the Brewers, Jose Peraza came to the plate with the bases full and one out with Cincinnati already leading 4-0.

Peraza fell behind in the count 0-2 after seeing a pair of sliders from Milwaukee right-hander Aaron Wilkerson. He fouled off two fastballs and took another one low for a ball. When Wilkerson offered a fourth consecutive fastball, Peraza sent a towering drive that narrowly cleared the left-field wall for his fifth home run of the season and his first career grand slam.

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"I hit it well, and when I saw it in the sky, I just said, 'Wow,'" Peraza said. "I thought it was a home run."

The blast doubled the Reds' lead and highlighted a five-run inning.

It was the Reds' ninth grand slam of the season, which leads the Major Leagues and ties the 2010 Yankees for the most slams before the All-Star break in history. The Major League record for most grand slams in a season is held by the '06 Cleveland Indians and '00 Oakland Athletics with 14. The '00 St. Louis Cardinals and '97 Atlanta Braves share the National League record with 12.

It was the Reds' second grand slam in as many days and their third in the last eight days. The other two were hit by starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani on June 23 and reliever Michael Lorenzen in Saturday's 12-3 win over the Brewers. The Reds have hit six grand slams in the last 17 games and the nine hit this season is the most since 2002 and ties a franchise record.

"The two by the pitchers, which is crazy, and obviously, seven others by position players," Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart said. "It is something you can't really explain. You aren't up there trying to hit grand slams. It just kind of happens."

Peraza's smash traveled 362 feet and came off the bat at 94 mph. He nearly had a home run to lead off the bottom of the first. He ran a full count on Milwaukee starter Freddy Peralta and belted a fastball deep to right-center field. Left fielder Ryan Braun started to track it and then appeared to give up on it, thinking it was going to sail over the wall. The ball died at the warning track and bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double.

"I hit the ball good, but I didn't think it was going to be a home run," Peraza said. "It was a double, and that is good too."

After two frustrating days at the plate, Cincinnati scored 20 runs in the final two games to split the series with the first-place Brewers. Peraza has hit three home runs in his past five games.

"It's the ultimate -- you get four right now, and it lets everyone breathe a little easier. Maybe, from the manager and coach's standpoint, you can set things up better for yourself the rest of the game," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "[Peraza is] a young guy that's mature for his years. He is becoming a good player. He's 24. At 22, he hit .324. He's really finding his game. He's really doing good stuff."

The Reds went 4-3 against first-place teams this week after taking two of three from Atlanta and splitting with Milwaukee. The Reds completed a four-game sweep of the Cubs prior to that.

"It's one of those things where we know we can play with these guys, these teams that are in first place in their respective divisions," Riggleman said. "But we've got to go through those guys. We've got to win our share against them, and I'm proud of our guys with the way they've been going about it."

Brian Rippee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Reds, Jose Peraza