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Six-run 5th propels Reds past Twins in wild one

Peraza homers twice; Votto crushes HR in fourth straight game in series-opening win
MLB.com @m_sheldon

MINNEAPOLIS -- Until Friday, Reds first baseman Joey Votto had never played a game at Target Field. In the fifth inning against the Twins, Votto did something else he hadn't previously done -- hit a home run in four straight games.

The Reds' first visit to Minnesota since 2001 proved to be a wild one, but a satisfying outcome as Votto's long ball keyed a six-run fifth. He also reached base safely six times during a 15-9 come-from-behind victory. The Twins have dropped eight straight games as Cincinnati improved its Major League-worst record to 6-20.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Until Friday, Reds first baseman Joey Votto had never played a game at Target Field. In the fifth inning against the Twins, Votto did something else he hadn't previously done -- hit a home run in four straight games.

The Reds' first visit to Minnesota since 2001 proved to be a wild one, but a satisfying outcome as Votto's long ball keyed a six-run fifth. He also reached base safely six times during a 15-9 come-from-behind victory. The Twins have dropped eight straight games as Cincinnati improved its Major League-worst record to 6-20.

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"We're all happy when we do our job," Votto said. "We had 20 hits and how many times did we walk or get hit by a pitch? I thought it was an excellent day of hitting. And we were down, most importantly, to come back is a very difficult thing to do."

Video: Votto hits a home run in four consecutive games

Reds starter Luis Castillo's career-low one-plus inning -- included Logan Morrison's two-out homer -- put the Reds down 5-1. They battled back after also trailing 7-3 after three innings and 8-4 after four innings. In the fourth, things looked bleak for Cincinnati when Max Kepler hit a double off Kevin Shackelford and right fielder Scott Schebler's error relay throw was kicked by second baseman Scooter Gennett to let Joe Mauer score.

It took a six-run fifth inning -- started by a Votto first-pitch, leadoff homer off Tyler Duffey -- to complete the comeback.

Video: CIN@MIN: Suarez smacks a run-scoring single to left

Votto has four home runs this season, all coming in the the past four games. The club record for consecutive games with home runs is five, and it's been achieved seven times. Jay Bruce was the last to do it from July 23-27, 2016.

Since he was batting .236 on April 15, Votto has reached safely in 12 consecutive games and has a season-high six-game hitting streak. It has raised his overall numbers to .280/.429/.382 with 14 RBIs.

"If we worried too much about Joey then we're really going to be worried. We have enough anxiety worrying about everything else," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "We just let Joey keep going out there and getting the job done. It's very comforting to know he's coming out four times a night in the lineup."

Two more hits followed Votto's long ball and Schebler's two-run single down the left-field line pulled the Reds to within one run. Adam Duvall kept the rally going when he hit comebacker off Duffey, who then threw the ball away for an error that put runners on second and third. Tucker Barnhart's sacrifice fly off Ryan Pressly tied the score, and it was Billy Hamilton's RBI triple to right field that put the Reds ahead. Hamilton scored on a Pressly wild pitch for a 10-8 lead.

Video: CIN@MIN: Hamilton races to third for an RBI triple

Another add-on run crossed in the seventh when Schebler drew a bases-loaded walk.

Taken off the hook by the comeback was Castillo, who allowed five earned runs, six hits and two walks in his one-plus inning. Shackelford followed with a career-high 2 2/3 innings and 54 pitches, but gave up three runs. The bullpen stabilized when David Hernandez made his season debut with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Amir Garrett worked a scoreless sixth inning, Jared Hughes added two scoreless innings. Minnesota didn't score again until closer Raisel Iglesias gave up Eddie Rosario's homer in the ninth.

"I feel like we've been down five times in the last week. Usually in the four-run range, not one or two," Riggleman said. "We've been down a lot, but that's not a formula for success to lose your starter in the first or second inning, have your bullpen getting worn out."

The Reds collected a season-high 20 hits while also setting a season high in runs scored. Barnhart was the only Reds player to go hitless -- but he contributed two sacrifice flies. Peraza tied his career high with four hits and three runs while Eugenio Suarez had a career-high four hits.

"Everyone did his job. The offense was really good so each one of us did our job today," Peraza said.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
In the top of the first inning against Twins starter Phil Hughes, Peraza provided the game's first run with a first-pitch homer to left field. He led off the ninth by going deep again, giving him the first two-homer game of his career and sparking a four-run inning.

Video: CIN@MIN: Peraza launches a solo homer to left field

Count Votto as a teammate who was impressed by Peraza, who is batting .349 (30-for-86) in his past 22 games after beginning the season 0-for-12.

"Man, it was just a great performance by a lot of guys tonight," Votto said. "Jose was outstanding, ready to hit right away. First pitch of the game, he was ready to go. It was a really fun performance to watch from a lot of different guys."

Video: CIN@MIN: Peraza belts his second homer of the game

HE SAID IT
"It was a great offensive night. I hate to start naming names because I'll leave somebody out." -- Riggleman

UP NEXT
Coming off his first victory of 2018, Sal Romano will try for two in a row when the Reds face the Twins and starter Jake Odorizzi at 2:10 p.m. ET on Saturday. Romano gave up two runs (one earned), four hits and one walk over six innings and struck out a season-high five on Monday in a 10-4 win over the Braves.

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.

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