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Gennett, Suarez pack punch in series finale

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez help comprise a middle portion of a Reds batting order that is tough for opposing pitchers to navigate through. The pair turned the tables quickly on Detroit starter Michael Fulmer, blasting back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning to erase a 2-0 deficit and power the Reds to a 5-3 win at Great American Ball Park on Wednesday afternoon.

"I think we both know we can hit, and we expect each other to hit," Gennett said. "I told him the inning before that we were going to get this guy, and when we are able to do it, it is exciting. It brings a lot of energy in the dugout."

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CINCINNATI -- Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez help comprise a middle portion of a Reds batting order that is tough for opposing pitchers to navigate through. The pair turned the tables quickly on Detroit starter Michael Fulmer, blasting back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning to erase a 2-0 deficit and power the Reds to a 5-3 win at Great American Ball Park on Wednesday afternoon.

"I think we both know we can hit, and we expect each other to hit," Gennett said. "I told him the inning before that we were going to get this guy, and when we are able to do it, it is exciting. It brings a lot of energy in the dugout."

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Suarez and Gennett rank in the top four in the National League in RBIs. Gennett entered the day leading the NL in batting average, and Suarez was third in slugging percentage. With five-time All-Star Joey Votto -- who leads the NL in on-base percentage -- hitting in front of them, it is hard to get them out.

"It is great," Suarez said. "When guys like Tucker [Barnhart] and [Scott] Schebler are getting on base, we have a chance to win, because Joey and Scooter can really hit and bring a lot of guys in. Myself, too. I just want to hit with people on base."

Video: DET@CIN: Reds discuss 5-3 win against the Tigers

That has certainly been the case recently for a Reds club that has won six of eight. Schebler is hitting .361 since May 30, and he is hitting .341 with 18 hits in the 11 games he has hit leadoff for Cincinnati this season. Meanwhile, Barnhart had reached safely in eight consecutive plate appearances before flying out to left in the bottom of the sixth inning. He is 10-for-25 with two doubles and a home run in his last six games.

"Scheb's done a good job," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "After a little bit of a cool start, a lot of guys are starting to see the ball better, stick more hits out there. Just hope it continues."

Fulmer cruised through the first five innings. He struck out eight hitters and surrendered two hits to a Cincinnati lineup that seemed off-balance against the right-hander. But the top of the lineup found its footing the third time through the order. Scott Schebler led off the sixth with a double to left-center and scored when Gennett lifted a two-out home run to right field to tie the game. Suarez gave the Reds a 3-2 lead one pitch later, when he pounced on a first-pitch slider that just cleared the wall in left field for a home run. It was initially scored as a double and was ruled a home run upon review.

Video: DET@CIN: Gennett rips game-tying 2-run HR in the 6th

The sixth-inning explosion quickly placed Cincinnati starter Tyler Mahle in line for the win, after he managed a solid start despite allowing a pair of solo home runs early to spot the Tigers a lead. Mahle struck out eight over six innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits with four walks. He admitted his command was lacking today with all of his pitches and cited he didn't throw a single curveball. But Mahle wasn't disappointed in the result by any means.

"I don't think a certain pitch was working today," Mahle said. "I think I was a little more lucky than anything. I missed a lot of spots, especially with my fastball, but they stayed up and off the zone, and they were swinging at those."

Video: DET@CIN: Riggleman on Mahle, 'pen in win over Tigers

A misplaced fastball to Jeimer Candelario in the first put the Tigers on the board, and Niko Goodrum belted a 2-2 changeup over the right-field wall in the third inning to account for Detroit's other run. Mahle retired eight of the next 10 hitters he faced after Goodrum's homer. His final strikeout came at the expense of Fulmer and left the bases loaded in the sixth. The Tigers stranded nine on the bases.

"Tyler did a great job," Riggleman said. "It seems like we've got six and eight innings from a lot of our starters. You've got a chance to win the ballgame. When you do that, you get a chance to use your bullpen the way it should be used, and a lot of times good things are going to happen."

Video: DET@CIN: Mahle strikes out 8 over 6 in win vs. Tigers

Mahle improved to 6-6 with the win. He has earned wins in three of his past four starts and has surrendered four earned runs combined.

"In the last couple of starts, I have been able to make good pitches," Mahle said. "I have executed with my fastball and slider, and the changeup has been OK."

The Reds had an opportunity to blow the game open in the seventh, loading the bases with no outs, but they managed just one run on a Barnhart single. Detroit added a run off of Jared Hughes in the eighth with the help of a pair of infield singles, but Cincinnati countered with an Adam Duvall solo home run in the bottom half of the inning.

Video: DET@CIN: Duvall drills a solo HR to extend Reds' lead

Raisel Iglesias notched his 11th save with a scoreless ninth inning.

Video: DET@CIN: Iglesias retires Castellanos to earn save

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
After two quick outs to begin the sixth inning, trouble mounted quickly for Mahle. A walk to JaCoby Jones and a base hit by Jose Iglesias put runners in scoring position and brought Riggleman out for a mound visit. Mahle admitted he thought he was going to be pulled in favor of Amir Garrett, who was warming in the bullpen. But Mahle stayed in and intentionally walked Dixon Machado to load the bases for Fulmer. Mahle blew two fastballs and a slider by Fulmer to end the Tigers' threat.

"It was huge," Mahle said. "It was awesome the lineup came around where it did, where we were able to walk [Machado] and face the pitcher. I am very grateful they let me stay out there."

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The homer fireworks went off in center field at Great American Ball Park as some confusion set in on Suarez's ball at the wall in the sixth. It was initially ruled a double, but a review showed the ball caromed off something outside the field of play and back onto the field to give Suarez his 15th home run.

Video: DET@CIN: Suarez's double overturned to solo home run

"I knew I got that one, and they overturned it for the home run," he said.

UP NEXT
The Reds continue their homestand with a four-game set with the Cubs beginning on Thursday. Matt Harvey (1-5, 5.92 ERA) gets the ball for Cincinnati in the opener at 7:10 p.m. ET. The right-hander allowed three runs on four hits in five innings with two walks and two strikeouts his last time out in a loss to Pittsburgh. Kyle Hendricks (5-6, 3.55) will be on the mound for Chicago.

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

Cincinnati Reds, Scooter Gennett, Eugenio Suarez