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DeSclafani hits grand slam, Reds win 6th in row

Right-hander earns third straight 'W' with 6 1/3 strong innings
MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Anthony DeSclafani wasn't sure how well he'd hit the 3-2 fastball he was offered by Cubs pitcher Brian Duensing as he stared it down while heading toward first base, but as he saw Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber give up on tracking it, he knew he had just gifted himself four additional runs of support. The ball sailed into the seats in left field for his first career grand slam.

The right-hander backed it up with 6 1/3 strong innings to elevate the Reds to an 11-2 win over the Cubs on Saturday at Great American Ball Park. Cincinnati has won six in a row and nine of its last 11 games.

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CINCINNATI -- Anthony DeSclafani wasn't sure how well he'd hit the 3-2 fastball he was offered by Cubs pitcher Brian Duensing as he stared it down while heading toward first base, but as he saw Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber give up on tracking it, he knew he had just gifted himself four additional runs of support. The ball sailed into the seats in left field for his first career grand slam.

The right-hander backed it up with 6 1/3 strong innings to elevate the Reds to an 11-2 win over the Cubs on Saturday at Great American Ball Park. Cincinnati has won six in a row and nine of its last 11 games.

View Full Game Coverage

"It was awesome," DeSclafani said. "Everything happened so fast in that at bat, from the time I swung and hit the ball to shaking everyone's hand in the dugout."

Arms That Hammer Sweepstakes

The stage for DeSclafani's blast was set by six consecutive batters reaching in front of him with two outs -- five coming against a laboring Duensing. A Scooter Gennett double and Eugenio Suarez single each brought in a run to give Cincinnati a 4-1 lead. Duensing walked Jesse Winker, yielded a base hit to Adam Duvall and then fell behind 3-0 to DeSclafani, who had just 16 hits in 116 career at-bats coming in. DeSclafani watched two fastballs go by for strikes and had a hunch a third one was coming. He guessed correctly and sent it into the left-field seats to blow the game open at 8-1.

"Anthony, I will tell you has put work into that," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "From the time he has been here going back to 2015, he was not a good handler of the bat. But he put a lot of work in. He's got a few hits in his career now. He is not a bad hitter. Once he knew the pitcher had to get one in there and not walk him, he was feeling pretty good about it."

Video: CHC@CIN: Riggleman on Reds' all-around success

The slam was DeSclafani's first career home run and the first grand slam hit by a Reds pitcher since Bob Purkey hit one against the Cubs on Aug. 1, 1959. It was the first grand slam hit by a pitcher since Jaime Garcia did it for the Braves on July 21, 2017, at Dodger Stadium.

The Reds have seven grand slams on the season, which is the most in the big leagues, and it was the fourth slam hit by the club in the past 10 days.

The blast highlighted a six-run third inning for Cincinnati after jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a two-run home run from Tucker Barnhart. The Reds catcher has 10 hits in his last seven games and is batting .322 during that stretch.

 Video: CHC@CIN: Barnhart opens the scoring with a 2-run jack

As exceptional as DeSclafani's long ball was, his handiwork on the mound matched that. He gave up two runs on three hits with three strikeouts and four walks and exited the mound to an ovation in the seventh.

"I had to kind of refocus myself," DeSclafani said. "It was still early in the game there. I had to make sure I went three or four more innings and try to put up more zeros."

His lone mistakes came by way of home runs hit by Willson Contreras in the second inning and Ben Zobrist in the sixth. Aside from that, he only pitched out of one other jam and kept a lid on one of the more dangerous lineups in the National League.

Video: CHC@CIN: DeScalfani shines on the mound, with the bat

"I tried pitching to my strength," DeSclafani said. "I stayed away a lot today. I don't know if I was making quality pitches, but sometimes you have those days where you miss barrels. Other days you make great pitches and they get hit. Today I was attacking, and it worked in my favor as far as getting ground balls or weak popups."

The right-hander has earned a win in three consecutive outings and is now 3-1 in four starts since coming off the 60-day disabled list on June 5 after sustaining a strained left oblique in Spring Training. His debut earlier this month signified the end of a long road back for DeSclafani, who had not pitched in the Major Leagues since September 2016 due to a multitude of injuries.

DeSclafani's outing was the fourth quality start the Reds' rotation has produced in five games and the sixth in the last 10 for a staff that has struggled at times this year. The starting pitching has posted a 2.70 ERA during the six-game winning streak.

"Just an outstanding job," Riggleman said. "Anytime these guys are getting us into the seventh inning we will take that every time. Our guys have really been doing that lately."

Video: CHC@CIN: Votto scores three with a homer in the 8th

Joey Votto added a three-run blast in the eighth, and the Reds bullpen blanked the Cubs the rest of the way after DeSclafani's departure. The Cincinnati 'pen has allowed just one earned run in its last 12 innings. Cincinnati moved to 5-0 in the current homestand after the win.

"We have played clean baseball," Riggleman said. "We have run the bases well, made the plays, hit the cutoff man. We have really played and gotten timely hits, things we know we are capable of doing. We've put a nice string of ballgames together."

SOUND SMART
DeSclafani's slam was the first home run hit by a Reds starting pitcher since Mike Leake on April 30, 2015. He was the first Cincinnati pitcher to record four RBIs in a game since Bronson Arroyo collected four RBIs on June 3, 2006, in a game against the Astros. DeSclafani said after the game it was the first home run he had hit since high school and the first grand slam he had hit at any level of baseball.

HE SAID IT
"Through a season you have your ups and downs. I feel like we are all feeling good right now. We are positive and confident every time we go out there, and we feel like things are starting to snowball in the right direction for us." -- DeSclafani, on the six-game winning streak

UP NEXT
The Reds wrap up this four-game series against the Cubs and a six-game homestand with Sal Romano on the mound. The right-hander is coming off back-to-back strong outings in which he turned eight innings of one-run baseball at Kansas City and earned a win against Detroit on Tuesday. Romano tossed seven shutout innings against the Tigers and scattered four hits with six strikeouts and four walks. Chicago will counter with Tyler Chatwood for Sunday's 1:10 p.m. ET game.

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

Cincinnati Reds, Anthony DeSclafani, Joey Votto

Reds top prospect Senzel out for season

Infielder to undergo surgery for torn tendon in right index finger
MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Reds top prospect Nick Senzel will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn tendon in his right index finger and will miss the remainder of the season. Senzel suffered the injury in a game with Triple-A Louisville on Friday night.

Senzel was pulled in the first inning after fielding a ball and making a throw. Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman seemed to think Senzel suffered the injury during the throw.

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CINCINNATI -- Reds top prospect Nick Senzel will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn tendon in his right index finger and will miss the remainder of the season. Senzel suffered the injury in a game with Triple-A Louisville on Friday night.

Senzel was pulled in the first inning after fielding a ball and making a throw. Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman seemed to think Senzel suffered the injury during the throw.

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"I don't think it was a bad hop," Riggleman said. "I think he did it throwing."

Senzel hit .310 with 12 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 25 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 44 games for Louisville this season. He missed nearly a month earlier this season while dealing with vertigo. Senzel, 22, is rated as baseball's No. 6 overall prospect, per MLB Pipeline.

"It had been a challenging season from the start, but it helped me grow," Senzel said in a statement on social media. "I had a goal this season, and it was to make it to the big leagues and help the Cincinnati Reds win ballgames. Although I did not fulfull this goal, it will not stop my drive to continue to fulfill my dream."

While there were no plans in the immediate future to bring Senzel to the Major Leagues, it was thought to be a strong possibility he'd be up with the Reds toward the end of the season.

"It was never anything specific, and I never talked to [Reds general manager] Nick [Krall] about when do we think he will be here or anything like that," Riggleman said. "Just hearing about his progress, you got a sense that he might be here before September and certainly in all liklihood in September, at least. I am not sure where that stands now."

Schebler set to be be reinstated
Scott Schebler was back at Great American Ball Park on Saturday, and Riggleman said the team will make room to activate the outfielder on Sunday. Schebler was placed on the bereavement list on Thursday and is eligble to be reinstated after three days.

Schebler is batting .281 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs in 57 games this season and is part of a four-man outfield Riggleman has been navigating with Billy Hamilton, Adam Duvall and Jesse Winker. Phillip Ervin was called up from Louisville on Thursday in Schebler's abscence.

Crockett gets job done in Reds debut
Kyle Crockett made his Reds debut in an important spot in Friday's 6-3 win over the Cubs. The left-hander was brought in to face Chicago slugger Kyle Schwarber with two men on base and two outs in the sixth inning as Cincinnati clung to a 4-3 lead. Schwarber had already hit a home run off starter Luis Castillo, but Crockett froze Schwarber with a 2-2 slider for a strikeout to end the threat.

Video: CHC@CIN: Crockett K's Schwarber in Reds debut

"Just go out there and attack the zone," Crockett said. "I am up here to throw strikes and get guys out. I wanted to get ahead in the count and then was able to work some swings and misses to get the punchout."

Crockett, 26, was called up from Triple-A on Thursday in a move that sent struggling reliever Wandy Peralta to Louisville. Riggleman said on Thursday that Crockett is a guy he'd like to use against left-handers in matchup situations, and that was precisely the case against Schwarber on Friday.

"I felt that it was the move that needed to be made in the game, but I had no real idea about what to expect," Riggleman said. "He obviously found a way to relax himself and let his talent come out because he threw three pretty good pitches."

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

Cincinnati Reds, Kyle Crockett, Scott Schebler

Reds back Castillo, beat Cubs for 5th win in row

Right-hander earns first W in nearly a month; Suarez slugs 16th homer
MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- The Reds played a clean ballgame behind starter Luis Castillo, who wasn't perfect but did enough to turn it over to a Cincinnati bullpen that has been arguably the most consistent segment of the team this season.

The right-hander pieced together 5 2/3 innings, and a three-run fifth inning powered the Reds to a 6-3 win over the Cubs on Friday at Great American Ball Park for Cincinnati's fifth consecutive win and its eighth in its last 10 games.

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CINCINNATI -- The Reds played a clean ballgame behind starter Luis Castillo, who wasn't perfect but did enough to turn it over to a Cincinnati bullpen that has been arguably the most consistent segment of the team this season.

The right-hander pieced together 5 2/3 innings, and a three-run fifth inning powered the Reds to a 6-3 win over the Cubs on Friday at Great American Ball Park for Cincinnati's fifth consecutive win and its eighth in its last 10 games.

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"That was one of the cleaner ballgames we've played," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "We really played a good ballgame offensively, defensively, ran the bases well, a lot of timely hits, good at-bats."

Video: CHC@CIN: Riggleman on Castillo's performance in win

Castillo gave up three earned runs on four hits with five strikeouts and a walk, cementing his first victory since May 24 and snapping a string of losses in each of his last four starts. He is now 5-8 on the season.

Castillo was given an early 1-0 lead thanks to Billy Hamilton's RBI single in the first. Castillo posted three scoreless innings without surrendering a hit to begin the game, but ran into some trouble in the fourth. A Javier Baez two-out bunt hit plated Ben Zobrist to tie the game at 1. Kyle Schwarber maximized the damage a pitch later when he belted a fastball well over the wall in center field to give the Cubs a 3-1 lead. 

"You are human," Castillo said. "You are going to make a mistake, and I made a mistake. I was trying to throw a two-seamer, it was over the plate, and he put a good swing on it and hit a homer, but overall, I think that I did a pretty good job."

Video: CHC@CIN: Hamilton opens the scoring with RBI single

The Reds would give Castillo the lead back an inning later when the middle of the lineup tagged Cubs starter Jose Quintana for a multirun inning the third time through for the third consecutive game.

Jose Peraza singled off Quintana to begin the fifth and stole second base. A Joey Votto RBI single scored Peraza and made it a 3-2 game before Eugenio Suarez blasted his team-leading 16th home run to center field to give the Reds a 4-3 lead. Suarez leads the Major Leagues in RBIs with 57 despite missing 16 games earlier in the season with a broken thumb. The Reds' lineup as a whole is hitting .322 over their last five games with nine home runs and 34 RBIs.

"I never try to do too much," Suarez said. "When you work hard it pays off. I am still working hard on my mentality and being ready for everything to hit well."

Video: CHC@CIN: Crockett K's Schwarber in Reds debut

The Cubs ousted Castillo in the sixth when they put a couple of runners on base with two outs. Riggleman called for left-hander Kyle Crockett -- whom the team called up from Triple-A on Thursday -- to face Schwarber. Crockett, making his Reds debut, froze the Cubs slugger with a 2-2 slider up and in to escape the jam.

Cincinnati added an insurance run in the seventh on an Adam Duvall base hit to center field and another in the eighth thanks to an RBI single from Alex Blandino.

Video: CHC@CIN: Blandino brings home Peraza with a single

David Hernandez grabbed the ball in the seventh and turned in two innings of hitless relief with three strikeouts. The right-hander said he struggled to keep the ball down in the zone in his last outing and that he worked on getting more downhill toward the plate, which he believes helped with his breaking-ball command.

"Hernandez has really done a really nice job for us," Riggleman said. "That might be as good of two innings as we've seen from Hernandez."

Hernandez's handiwork bridged the game to Raisel Iglesias, who picked up his 12th save of the season and sealed the win with a scoreless ninth inning. The Reds bullpen has allowed one earned run in its last 9 1/3 innings.

"I will take our guys down there in the bullpen against anybody," Hernandez said. "We may not have the flashiest of names, but we compete and we trust each other. If one of us doesn't have it one night, the next guy will come in and get the job done."

Video: CHC@CIN: Iglesias retires Schwarber to record save

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Suarez hits go-ahead homer: Quintana had shown his changeup to Suarez once previously in the game. Suarez rolled over on a first-pitch changeup in the third inning and grounded out to third base. But when Quintana offered the same pitch again in a 1-0 count in the fifth, it caught entirely too much of the plate, and the Reds slugger belted it well over the center-field wall.

"That time I said I needed to be ready for anything he was going to throw me," Suarez said. "He missed with that changeup, and I hit it really well."

Video: CHC@CIN: Suarez clubs a 2-run homer to center field

SOUND SMART
Votto went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. He reached base for the seventh consecutive game and has reached safely in 65 of 74 games this season.

Video: CHC@CIN: Votto plates Peraza with a single to center

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With two outs in the seventh inning, Ian Happ sliced a Hernandez offering toward the left-field line. Duvall got a good jump on the ball and made a nifty running catch down near his shoestrings to prevent extra bases and end the inning.

Video: CHC@CIN: Duvall robs Happ with a shoestring catch

HE SAID IT
"We are a young team trying to find our identity and who we are. As the season progresses, we would like to see some results in a positive direction, and I think we have that going. Hopefully we can take it into the All-Star break and hopefully pick it back up after. We have plenty of good players around here. It is just a matter of putting it all together." -- Hernandez, on recent winning streak

UP NEXT
Anthony DeSclafani will take the mound Saturday for the Reds in game three of this four-game set with the Cubs. The right-hander has made three starts since being activated off the 60-day disabled list on June 5 and has won his last two. DeSclafani is 2-1 with a 4.60 ERA during that stretch and is coming off an outing in which he went 5 2/3 innings and scattered two runs on three hits with four strikeouts and a walk in a win at Pittsburgh. Chicago will counter with Luke Farrell. First pitch is at 4:10 p.m. ET. 

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

Cincinnati Reds, Luis Castillo, Eugenio Suarez

Young fan will only throw first pitch from mound

The ceremonial first pitch can be a nerve-wracking time for a person. What if they don't get it over the plate? What if they slip? What if it bounces? What if I become the next 50 Cent-inspired pitch? It's a lot of pressure. Often times, they take the more safe approach and throw out the pitch from in front of the mound. But not this little Reds fan -- he wanted the full experience.

Greene spins 6 2/3 for Dayton

MLB.com @GoldenSombrero

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Friday.

A trio of Twins prospects put on a hitting clinic on Friday night as Alex Kirilloff, Luis Arraez and Ben Rortvedt each hit a home run and together combined for 11 hits and 10 RBIs to lead Class A Advanced Fort Myers over Bradenton, 14-7.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Friday.

A trio of Twins prospects put on a hitting clinic on Friday night as Alex Kirilloff, Luis Arraez and Ben Rortvedt each hit a home run and together combined for 11 hits and 10 RBIs to lead Class A Advanced Fort Myers over Bradenton, 14-7.

Promoted to Fort Myers earlier this week, Kirilloff, Minnesota's No. 3 prospect (No. 71), furthered his breakout campaign by going 4-for-6 with five RBIs, three a product of his first Florida State League home run in the fifth inning, in his second game with the Miracle. The 20-year-old outfielder was 1-for-6 with one run scored in his Fort Myers debut on Thursday.

Kirilloff goes deep

Fully healthy after having his entire 2017 season wiped out by Tommy John surgery, Kirilloff, the Twins' first-round pick in '16, has emerged as one of the better offensive prospects below the Double-A level in his first full season. In 67 games between Fort Myers and Class A Cedar Rapids, he's slashing a robust .337/.392/.610 with 14 home runs, 20 doubles and 61 RBIs.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Arraez (No. 21) put Fort Myers on the board with a leadoff home run, his first of the season, and ultimately finished a triple short of the cycle, going 5-for-6 and scoring four runs in his second career five-hit game. He's tallied multiple hits in six of his past 10 contests, during which he's hitting .447 (21-for-47). Overall, the 21-year-old second baseman owns a .304/.358/.412 batting line in 51 games this season.

As for Rortvedt, the Twins' No. 22 prospect went deep in his first two at-bats, hitting two-run shots in the second and fourth innings, to record his first career multihomer game. The 20-year-old catcher's homers were his first in nine games with the Miracle and gives him three homers in 48 games for the season. He's hitting .290/.340/.420 overall after slashing .224/.284/.315 with one home run over 89 games with Cedar Rapids in his first full season.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Friday

• No. 5 overall prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres' No. 1) put Double-A San Antonio on the board with a third-inning solo shot and went on to finish 3-for-5 with two runs scored in a 3-0 win over Midland. The 19-year-old shortstop is having a strong campaign in the Texas League, sporting a .276/.348/.490 slash line with 12 homers, 64 runs scored and 11 steals despite a dismal first month of the season (.177/.231/.333, 34 K in 24 games).

Tatis Jr.'s solo homer

• No. 20 overall prospect Hunter Greene (Reds' No. 2) took the loss but still completed a career-high 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits as Class A Dayton fell to South Bend, 3-2. The 18-year-old's heater was up to 101 mph in the first inning and he faced the minimum through three before scuffling in the subsequent frame. Greene recovered to retire seven of the final 10 batters he faced, ultimately striking out seven and issuing zero walks in the outing. He hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in six straight starts, dating back to May 18.

Greene's seventh strikeout

• No. 62 overall prospect Kyle Lewis' (Mariners' No. 1) and Evan White's (No. 2) solo home runs accounted for all of Class A Advanced Modesto's offense in a 9-2 loss against Stockton. It marked the fourth home run of 2018 for both players, and together they collected five hits, with White finishing 3-for-4 and Lewis 2-for-4.

• No. 79 overall prospect Kevin Maitan (Angels' No. 2) launched his first home run and extended his season-opening hitting streak to seven games for Rookie-level Orem. The 19-year-old switch-hitter collected three hits for the second time in three games as he finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored. He's hitting .433/.500/.533 overall, with 13 hits in his first seven contests in the Pioneer League.

Maitan hits a solo homer

• No. 85 overall prospect Blake Rutherford (White Sox No. 7) drove in four with a two-run homer and a two-run double to finish 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a stolen base in Class A Advanced Winston-Salem's 8-2 win over Down East. The homer was Rutherford's second in as many days and pushed his season total to six home runs -- one more than he amassed over 134 games in his first two seasons. The 21-year-old outfielder is slashing .333/.358/.587 in June and .295/.335/.471 for the season.

Rutherford goes yard

• No. 93 overall prospect Peter Lambert (Rockies' No. 3) retired the final 15 batters he faced en route to completing seven innings of one-run ball in Double-A Hartford's 6-1 win over Binghamton. He allowed just two hits -- one being a solo home run to Tim Tebow -- and struck out five before departing after 76 pitches (52 strikes). The 21-year-old righty has been sensational in four starts this month, going 4-0 with a 1.14 ERA and 0.73 WHIP in 31 2/3 innings. For the season, Lambert leads all qualified Eastern League hurlers in ERA (tied, 2.31), WHIP (1.03) and innings pitched (85 2/3).

Braves No. 9 prospect Cristian Pache went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs to back a scoreless effort on the mound by Kyle Muller (No. 12) as Class A Advanced Florida blanked Daytona, 3-0. Muller, a 6-foot-6 left-hander, scattered five hits over six innings and recorded four strikeouts and four walks as he improved his ERA to 3.12 through eight starts in the Florida State League. Pache's homer, a solo shot in the third inning, was his fifth of the season, and the 19-year-old outfielder is hitting .278/.303/.413 overall after logging his third multihit game in his last 10 contests.

Braves No. 30 prospect Huascar Ynoa carried a no-hit bid into the fifth inning before completing six one-hit frames in Class A Rome's 5-0 win over Augusta. He issued four walks but struck out seven in the outing, also recording seven ground-ball outs and throwing 60 of his 99 pitches for strikes. The 20-year-old righty has racked up 80 strikeouts while holding hitters to a .210 clip over 67 2/3 innings (14 starts) in his first full season.

Dodgers No. 5 prospect DJ Peters and Will Smith (No. 8) combined to record five extra-base hits and five RBIs as they powered Double-A Tulsa past Northwest Arkansas, 9-3. Peters hit a pair of solo homers and later added a double to finish 3-for-5 at the plate. Smith, meanwhile, homered for a third straight game and also hit a double as part of 2-for-4, three-RBI performance. Smith's homer was his 10th of the year, while Peters pushed his total to 14 with his third multihomer game of the season.

Peters' first homer

Orioles No. 10 prospect D.J. Stewart was one of seven players to tally multiple hits as Triple-A Norfolk hammered Louisville, 16-1. The 24-year-old outfielder registered three of the Tides' 20 hits to finish 3-for-5 with a home run, four RBIs and four runs scored. He's hitting .278/.374/.461 with seven homers in 51 games for the season.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Winker sported CarGo's gloves for first slam

Winker hits 1st career grand slam as Reds roll

Right fielder highlights 6-run 6th, Harvey gets 2nd win
MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Jesse Winker went into Thursday's game hitting just .175 off of left-handed pitching, but when he stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth inning to face Cubs lefty Randy Rosario, that number certainly didn't foreshadow the outcome. Winker crushed a two-out grand slam that highlighted a six-run sixth inning the Reds used to take control of the game in a 6-2 win over the Cubs on Thursday at Great American Ball Park.

"I just tried to put a good swing on a hittable pitch," Winker said. "Honestly, I was looking to hit a fastball. He has nowhere to put you with the bases loaded."

View Full Game Coverage

CINCINNATI -- Jesse Winker went into Thursday's game hitting just .175 off of left-handed pitching, but when he stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth inning to face Cubs lefty Randy Rosario, that number certainly didn't foreshadow the outcome. Winker crushed a two-out grand slam that highlighted a six-run sixth inning the Reds used to take control of the game in a 6-2 win over the Cubs on Thursday at Great American Ball Park.

"I just tried to put a good swing on a hittable pitch," Winker said. "Honestly, I was looking to hit a fastball. He has nowhere to put you with the bases loaded."

View Full Game Coverage

The slam was the first of Winker's career and his fourth home run of the season. For a guy not known for hitting left-handers well, his two home runs off of them have come when it mattered most. The other home run off of a lefty came on June 7, when he crushed a walk-off home run off of Colorado's Chris Rusin.

Grand slams mean 40% off pizza

"I don't listen to what other people say," Winker said. "I listen to my coaches and my teammates, and they haven't told me I can't do anything. That is big for me."

The slam, Cincinnati's sixth of the season, tied the Reds with the Red Sox for most in the Majors.

Video: CHC@CIN: Suarez draws a bases-loaded walk in the 6th

Billy Hamilton led off the inning with a walk. Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks retired Jose Peraza and Tucker Barnhart on a strikeout and a lazy fly ball before issuing a walk to Joey Votto and a base hit to Scooter Gennett. Eugenio Suarez fell behind 0-2 to Hendricks, but battled back to draw a walk that brought in Cincinnati's first run and ended Hendricks' night.

"That was huge," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "We put together some great at-bats. Votto had a walk in there, too."

The Suarez walk prompted Cubs' skipper Joe Maddon to call on Rosario to face Winker. Rosario missed away with a slider before leaving a fastball over the inner half of the plate. Winker crushed the pitch well over the wall in right-center to give the Reds a 5-2 lead. Hamilton slapped an RBI single to center field in his second at-bat of the inning to add on another run.

Video: CHC@CIN: Hamilton laces an RBI single to center field

"He's got a good slider, too," Winker said. "I wanted to lay off of it and then be on time for the fastball. I know his ball moves. I wanted to be short and direct to it. It happened to get up and get out."

Hendricks stifled the Cincinnati lineup through the first five innings of the game, surrendering a pair of singles and a walk. But for the second game in a row, the middle of the Reds' lineup ousted the opposing starter in the sixth inning and gave the team a lead.

"It is becoming more and more evident throughout the league that the sixth inning is a heck of a time," Riggleman said. "It's a tough one to get through. We have experienced it many times, even yesterday with [Detroit starter] Michael Fulmer."

The six-run outburst made good on six innings of two-run baseball from Reds starter Matt Harvey, who picked up his second win of the season and his first since May 22. Chicago tagged Harvey for a couple of runs in the third on a two-run double from Javier Baez. Harvey retired 10 of the last 13 hitters he faced after the Baez double. He struck out six and walked one in the win.

Video: CHC@CIN: Harvey fans 6 over 6 innings of 2-run ball

Harvey didn't let his mistakes compound, which was the difference in him holding it together this outing. The two runs Baez drove in came by way of a hit batsman and a Jason Heyward single. Harvey hit Addison Russell immediately following the double, but induced a ground ball for a double play to escape further damage.

"That was a big momentum shift in the outing," Harvey said. "That was the biggest pitch I made all night. After that, I was able to settle in, trust my stuff, and I located the ball pretty well."

Both of Harvey's wins this season have come since being traded to the Reds on May 8, and both have come inside the confines of Great American Ball Park. He is 2-3 in eight starts since being traded. He's completed five innings in six consecutive starts and pitched into the sixth in four of those.

"It is starting to come around," Harvey said. "We have been watching a lot of video, making sure everything stays the same throughout the start. Tonight was a lot closer to that. It's trusting your mechanics and the work that goes in between starts."

The outing continued a positive trend for the Reds, whose starters have put together three consecutive quality starts for the first time this season and have had five in the last eight games.

Chicago didn't go quietly and put multiple runners on in each of the next two innings. The Cubs loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh off Michael Lorenzen, but Amir Garrett came in and struck out Anthony Rizzo on three pitches to end the threat.

The Cubs put two more on in the eighth, but Jared Hughes relieved Garrett and struck out Albert Almora Jr. to strand the runners. A clean ninth inning from Hughes notched his fifth save of the year and secured the Reds' seventh win in nine games.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Garrett escapes jam: Chicago didn't relent after Winker's slam put the Reds in front. When the Cubs loaded the bases in the seventh off of Lorenzen, Riggleman called for Garrett out of the bullpen. Garrett wasted no time attacking one of the best hitters in baseball. He snuck a slider by Rizzo and then fired a pair of 97-mph fastballs by Rizzo to strike him out on three pitches and strand all three runners.

Video: CHC@CIN: Garrett K's Rizzo, strands the bases loaded

"I think that probably the best I have ever located my fastball is in that moment in time," Garrett said. "I love having the chance to come in back-to-back days. I think it fits my mentality."

HE SAID IT
"I said to myself, 'I am not going to let these runs score.' When they put me out there, I have a job to do. I wanted to strand those runners to keep the lead. I think it is the pressure of those situations. I thrive in those situations and want to be in them as much as I can." -- Garrett, on getting out of the seventh

Video: CHC@CIN: Peraza swipes second base on overturned call

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Peraza was initially called out on a steal attempt with two outs in the third, but a replay showed that he snuck his foot in just ahead of the tag by Cubs shortstop Russell. After a review of two minutes and 27 seconds, the call was overturned.

UP NEXT
Luis Castillo gets the nod for the Reds in game two of a four-game set with Chicago on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET. The right-hander surrendered three earned runs on six hits in five innings his last time out in a loss to the Pirates. Castillo will be looking to get on the right track after taking losses in each of his last four starts. He is 4-8 on the season with a 5.77 ERA. Left-hander Jose Quintana will be on the hill for the Cubs.

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

Cincinnati Reds, Amir Garrett, Matt Harvey, Jesse Winker

Schebler to bereavement list; Peralta sent down

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- The Reds placed outfielder Scott Schebler on the bereavement list on Thursday and recalled outfielder Phillip Ervin from Triple-A Louisville.

Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman has been using a four-man outfield rotation of late and said Ervin will be available when needed, but Jesse Winker, Billy Hamilton and Adam Duvall will likely see the bulk of the playing time in Schebler's absence. Schebler is eligible to be reinstated in three days and can remain on the bereavement list for a maximum of seven days.

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CINCINNATI -- The Reds placed outfielder Scott Schebler on the bereavement list on Thursday and recalled outfielder Phillip Ervin from Triple-A Louisville.

Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman has been using a four-man outfield rotation of late and said Ervin will be available when needed, but Jesse Winker, Billy Hamilton and Adam Duvall will likely see the bulk of the playing time in Schebler's absence. Schebler is eligible to be reinstated in three days and can remain on the bereavement list for a maximum of seven days.

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Ervin last appeared for the Reds on April 24 and has eight hits and five walks in 44 plate appearances this season in the big leagues.

Peralta optioned, Crockett called up

Cincinnati also optioned right-handed pitcher Wandy Peralta to Louisville and called up left-hander Kyle Crockett, who will make his Reds debut upon his entry into game action.

After not allowing a run in his first 10 appearances this season, Peralta has struggled recently, including giving up five earned runs on four hits without recording an out in his last appearance against Detroit on Tuesday. Peralta has 25 walks and 21 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings this season. Riggleman said Peralta has worked with pitching coach Danny Darwin and assistant pitching coach Ted Power, who spotted some mechanical issues in his delivery that have led to the struggles.

"Some real drastic differences between when he was successful in the first half of last year compared to where he is now in his delivery," Riggleman said. "We just don't have the luxury of working it out here."

Riggleman said they'd tried to let him work through some things in some lower stress situations -- like Tuesday night, when he entered with a 9-0 lead -- but ultimately came to the decision this was the best move.

"He is going to going to go down to Triple-A and put those things to work," Riggleman said. "Hopefully he can come back here and help us. He is a guy that opposing hitters around the league are like, 'Wow, he is tough.' We have to get him back to that."

Crockett is a lefty who Riggleman hopes will be able to pitch well against the tough left-handed hitters in the Cubs lineup. Crockett spent four seasons with the Cleveland Indians and boasted a 1.80 ERA in 43 appearances as a rookie in 2014. Crockett struggled to begin the 2017 campaign with Cleveland and spent much of the season in Triple-A after being sent down on June 17, 2017.

The Indians designated Crockett for assignment in the offseason, and the Reds signed him to a Minor League deal in December. Crockett has allowed 12 earned runs in 27 innings over 23 appearances with Louisville this season.

"I think it is just getting more comfortable and making sure I am not thinking too much," Crockett said. "Just making sure I am going out there and using my stuff like I know how, pound the zone. That has been pretty much what I have done to be successful my whole life."

The Reds also released catcher Tony Cruz on Thursday.

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

Cincinnati Reds, Wandy Peralta, Scott Schebler

Senzel homers twice for Bats

MLB.com @GoldenSombrero

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Thursday.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Thursday.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Making his sixth start for Class A Advanced Lynchburg, Eli Morgan turned in the best outing of his young career.

Morgan, the Indians' No. 28 prospect, did not allow a hit over six dominant innings, issuing one walk and matching his career high with nine strikeouts as he and a trio of Hillcats relievers combined to fire a one-hit shutout in a 1-0 victory against Myrtle Beach. He threw a season-high 91 pitches in the outing, 59 for strikes.

After retiring the first eight batters of the game, Morgan issued a two-out walk in the third inning that ended his bid at perfection. It was the only blemish on his performance, as the 22-year-old righty proceeded to set down the final 10 batters en route to facing one over the minimum.

Morgan has proved to be one of the biggest 2017 Draft steals in his first full season. The eighth-round selection out of Gonzaga has pitched to a 2.62 ERA with a 0.79 WHIP and 40-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 34 1/3 innings (six starts) with Lynchburg after a dominant start to his season at Class A Lake County, where he logged a 1.83 ERA with 56 strikeouts and eight walks in 44 1/3 innings.

Overall, Morgan owns a 2.17 ERA and 0.84 WHIP in 14 starts this season across the two levels. He's held opposing hitters to a paltry .186 average in that span while compiling 96 strikeouts and 14 walks in 78 2/3 innings.

Right-handed reliever James Karinchak (No. 22) locked down his seventh save of the season to seal the Hillcats' combined one-hitter. Another steal from the 2017 Draft, when he was a ninth-round pick out of Bryant University, Karinchak has dominated to the tune of a 0.68 ERA with a .180 opponents' average and 47 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings (20 appearances) this season between Lake County and Lynchburg.

Offensively, Mitch Longo (No. 27) provided all the run support the Lynchburg hurlers would need when he led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run. The 23-year-old outfielder finished the game 1-for-2, also reaching base via a walk and a hit-by-pitch. He's hitting .289/.340/.417 with four home runs in 60 games this season -- matching the exact total he produced over 60 contests between Lake County and Lynchburg in 2017.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Thursday

No. 6 overall prospect Nick Senzel (Reds' No. 1) hit a solo homer and later added a two-run shot to account for all of Triple-A Louisville's offense in a 13-3 loss against Durham. The multihomer performance, the third of Senzel's career, gives him six homers on the season and also pushed his hitting streak to 11 games, during which he's raised his average from .256 to .310 while recording nine multihit efforts.

Senzel's second homer

• No. 10 overall prospect Kyle Tucker (Astros' No. 1) is halfway to his second straight 20-homer, 20-stolen base season after recording his 10th home run and 12th stolen base in a 3-for-5 game for Triple-A Fresno. He's hitting .306 for the season, thanks largely to a 10-game hitting streak during which he owns a .449 average (22-for-44) with three homers, 10 RBIs and 11 runs scored.

• No. 13 overall prospect Royce Lewis (Twins' No. 1) hit a three-run homer in the third inning that proved the difference in Class A Cedar Rapids' 5-4 win over Wisconsin. He finished 2-for-4 at the plate in what was his fourth straight multihit game for the Kernels. The 19-year-old shortstop has been remarkable in his first full season, hitting .305/.347/.469 with 23 extra-base hits (7 HR), 40 RBIs and 16 steals in 56 games.

Lewis goes yard

• No. 27 overall prospect Kyle Wright (Braves' No. 3) struck out eight batters over seven innings, matching his career-best marks in both categories, as Double-A Mississippi downed Jacksonville, 11-2. He allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits, throwing 67 of his 97 pitches for strikes, and did not issue a walk for the first time in 15 starts this season. It was the best home start of 2018 for the 22-year-old righty, who sports a 1.91 ERA (42 1/3 IP) on the road compared to a 6.82 ERA (34 1/3 IP) in Mississippi. Alex Jackson (No. 14) paced the M-Braves offensively by going 4-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI.

• No. 37 overall prospect Jesus Sanchez (Rays' No. 4) blasted a grand slam and went 3-for-4 to help power Class A Advanced Charlotte past Palm Beach, 10-1. The 20-year-old outfielder has homered nine times in 59 games and ranks among the Florida State League leaders with a .328 average (third), 124 total bases (first) and 45 RBIs (tied, first).

• No. 54 overall prospect Yordan Alvarez (Astros' No. 3) stayed red hot with a 3-for-4 performance that included a two-run homer in Double-A Corpus Christi's 4-2 win over Frisco. In five games since coming off the disabled list, the 20-year-old outfielder is hitting .478 with three home runs, 10 RBIs and four multihit performances. For the season, Alvarez owns a .331/.390/.608 batting line with nine homers and 36 RBIs in 32 games.

• Making his Triple-A debut, No. 96 overall prospect Griffin Canning (Angels' No. 5) posted zeros for the ninth time in 13 starts this season, tossing four scoreless frames in Salt Lake's win over Tacoma. He mixed two hits with three walks and six strikeouts while throwing 51 of his 87 pitches for strikes over four innings. Canning, a 2017 second-rounder, has been sensational in his first full season, pitching to a 1.54 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 33 hits allowed in 58 1/3 innings across three levels.

Blue Jays No. 12 prospect Miguel Hiraldo recorded his third four-hit performance in 16 games for Toronto's Dominican Summer League affiliate. He reached base in all five plate appearances, going 4-for-4 with a walk, two RBIs and a stolen base. The 17-year-old shortstop, signed for $750,000 a little more than a year ago, is slashing .429/.493/.667 with 10 extra-base hits and eight multihit efforts in 16 games to begin his career.

Royals No. 3 prospect Seuly Matias connected on his Minor League-leading 23rd home run, a two-run shot, in the sixth inning of Class A Lexington's 9-8 loss against Charleston. He reached base three times in the contest, finishing 1-for-2 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch. The 19-year-old slugger has gone deep nine times in 20 games this month after homering seven times in each of the season's first two months.

Royals No. 6 prospect Nicky Lopez hit for the cycle in order, tallying a single, double, triple and home run in the first six innings of Double-A Northwest Arkansas' 17-3 rout of Tulsa. He finished 5-for-6 with two RBIs and four runs scored out of the leadoff spot. The 23-year-old middle infielder is raking in the Texas League, as Thursday's performance gives him a .332/.398/.420 batting line and 91 hits through 71 games.

Lopez hits for the cycle

Tigers No. 11 prospect Mike Gerber went 2-for-5 with a pair of two-run homers as Triple-A Toledo fell to Gwinnett, 7-6. It was the 25-year-old outfielder's first multi-homer performance this season and fifth of his career. He owns a .220 average with seven homers in 37 games this season.

Twins No. 11 prospect Lewis Thorpe racked up a career-high 12 strikeouts and carried a no-hit bid into the fifth inning before completing seven scoreless innings of one-hit, one-walk ball in Double-A Chattanooga's 12-2 win over Biloxi. The 22-year-old left-hander faced two over the minimum in the outing, permitting a two-out single in the fifth and a one-out walk in the following frame. He recorded at least two strikeouts in each of the first five innings and ultimately threw 60 of his 84 pitches for strikes in the season-long outing. Thorpe has 86 strikeouts in 69 2/3 innings on the year to go along with a 4.26 ERA.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Young Reds fan pays it forward with foul ball

Jesse Winker hit his first career grand slam Thursday night in the Reds' 6-2 win over the Cubs. Winker tends to struggle against lefties, so his fourth homer of the season couldn't have come at a better time for him.. And despite his successes at the plate, it was a foul ball he gifted a fan that started a very sweet story.

The most pressing questions facing Reds

MLB.com @LangoschMLB

In a bunched-up National League Central, a crossroads is coming.

Ahead sits a crucial six-week stretch that will push the season past its halfway point and bring it to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Buyers and sellers will be defined. Pretenders and contenders will separate. And in a division where four teams still have a legitimate chance to earn a postseason berth, key decisions will surface.

In a bunched-up National League Central, a crossroads is coming.

Ahead sits a crucial six-week stretch that will push the season past its halfway point and bring it to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Buyers and sellers will be defined. Pretenders and contenders will separate. And in a division where four teams still have a legitimate chance to earn a postseason berth, key decisions will surface.

Here is a look at a few of them, as MLB.com has identified one pressing question that each NL Central club will seek to answer before the end of next month:

BREWERS
The question: Could Jimmy Nelson be the boost Milwaukee's rotation needs?

After watching the Brewers swing a deal for Christian Yelich in January, most everyone expected the club to follow up by adding a front-line starter. That splash never came, and it leaves Milwaukee in a spot where it again must assess whether its starting depth is sufficient.

Thus far, it's been Jhoulys Chacin and Junior Guerra anchoring a rotation that has been around league average in most statistical categories. Getting Zach Davies off the disabled list should provide a boost, and the Brewers see potential in rookie Freddy Peralta. But they still lack an ace.

Nelson isn't exactly that, but if he can avoid another setback in his recovery from shoulder surgery, Milwaukee may be more content to stand pat with what it has. Nelson's rehab hit some snags this spring, and he hasn't yet resumed throwing off the mound. The Brewers can use the next few weeks to asses Nelson's progress and better project the potential impact he may have in the second half. If it isn't deemed to be enough, their search for rotation help may again heat up.

CARDINALS
The question: Does St. Louis have enough on offense?

Sound familiar? It should, as this is the same question the Cardinals were trying to address months ago. Marcell Ozuna was supposed to play a big role in answering it, but even as he's come alive this month, the pieces around him haven't exactly fallen into place.

Video: Marcell Ozuna is named the NL Player of the Week

The club ranks in the league's bottom half in runs scored, and the offense leans too heavily on the long ball. Dramatic first-half struggles from Dexter Fowler and Kolten Wong have complicated lineup construction. Injuries to Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong haven't helped, either.

But Molina is back, DeJong is on the mend and others (namely Matt Carpenter and Ozuna) have recently provided production more consistent with their career norms. With middle-of-the-order bats like Manny Machado and Mike Moustakas expected to be dangled as trade options in the coming weeks, St. Louis will have to assess whether it will gamble on this current unit coming around, or if the club is willing to part with prized prospects to acquire another big bat. The latter would be a particularly bold move for a team that is often hesitant to give up long-term assets for a short-term fix. The Cards would be more inclined to do so if they can first close the gap with the Brewers and Cubs.

CUBS
The question: What will Yu do?

Yu Darvish was supposed to be the missing piece the defending division champs needed, but he has spent as much time on the DL as he has the active roster this year. First, it was the flu. Now, it's a right triceps injury.

Yes, Mike Montgomery has done an exceptional job filling in during Darvish's absence. But there's a reason the Cubs committed $126 million to Darvish this offseason. Getting him back -- and the Cubs are optimistic they will before the All-Star break -- would give Chicago even more flexibility in how it can deploy its arms. The Cubs could give Tyler Chatwood time to pause and address his command troubles. They could consider temporarily transitioning to a six-man rotation. Or (and this seems likeliest), they could make one of baseball's best bullpens even more formidable by adding Montgomery to it.

Video: LAD@CHC: Montgomery tosses 6 innings of 1-run ball

For a club with few glaring needs, sliding Darvish back into the rotation may be the biggest move the Cubs make in July. Of course, they'll only get a boost if he's better than his first impression and can stay healthy. Darvish has a 4.95 ERA, three quality starts and a 1.425 WHIP in eight games. The Cubs need better.

PIRATES
The question: Will the Bucs be buyers or sellers?

In dealing away Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole last offseason, the Pirates cast themselves into what most folks thought would be another rebuild. Then they raced out to an 11-4 start to the season, forcing many to reevaluate whether they had undersold Pittsburgh's potential. That answer is still unclear.

The Bucs have been a streaky team so far, and not for the better as of late. A recent 9-19 stretch -- one complicated by a leaky bullpen -- has dropped the Pirates into fourth place in the division. If they're still treading around or below the .500 mark at this time next month, Pittsburgh will likely listen to trade offers on veteran players nearing free agency. That may put Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer, David Freese and/or Francisco Cervelli on the move. But if the next six weeks go more like the first few did, general manager Neal Huntington may be inclined to hold onto his assets and even add a complementary piece or two.

So what has to go right for the Pirates to push themselves into buying consideration? Their inexperienced rotation will need to hold up. The Bucs' young relievers will need to step up. Their lineup will need to show that its early production was no fluke. And Pittsburgh would probably need to leapfrog at least one team ahead of it in the division.

REDS
The question: Will Cincinnati's carousel of outfielders finally prove fruitful?

There was sound logic behind the Reds' decision to enter the season rotating four outfielders through three outfield spots. They believed that such a system would help keep everyone fresh and maximize the varying skill sets offered by Scott Schebler, Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Jesse Winker. Instead, the club has been handcuffed by inconsistent production from all four. Currently, Cincinnati ranks last in the NL in outfielder batting average and slugging percentage.

The biggest conundrum may be what to do with Hamilton. His elite defensive ability will always be an asset, but he's not been on base enough to take advantage of his speed. Hamilton is just a little over a year away from free agency, and if he's not deemed part of the Reds' long-term plan, the club may reach a point where they quit prioritizing his playing time.

Video: CIN@PIT: Hamilton lays out for tremendous catch

The other possibility is that the club could try to deal the center fielder. Duvall could also be on the trade block. What sort of value either might have on the market will be shaped whether either can find his way out of a first-half funk.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals

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