MILWAUKEE -- The Reds' offense -- wayward through a rough start to 2018 -- not only opened a lead Monday vs. the Brewers, it tacked on runs greedily for a team that was badly in need of a victory. Although it wasn't a game without twists and turns, Cincinnati emerged
MILWAUKEE -- The Reds' offense -- wayward through a rough start to 2018 -- not only opened a lead Monday vs. the Brewers, it tacked on runs greedily for a team that was badly in need of a victory. Although it wasn't a game without twists and turns, Cincinnati emerged with a 10-4 win.
As Luis Castillo pitched 6 2/3 innings, the offense that came in with the fewest runs scored in the National League came alive with a season-high 14 hits -- many of them with runners in scoring position. Every member of the starting lineup -- including Castillo -- notched at least one hit. Adam Duvall had three hits and Billy Hamilton drove in three runs as the Reds notched just their third win in 16 games this season and snapped an eight-game losing streak.
"I'll tell you, a win is a salve, regardless of how early or late you are in the season," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "A win makes everyone feel better. It's a long time coming, but it certainly feels good to win."
The key rallies came during a three-run second inning against Brewers starter Brent Suter and a six-run sixth vs. reliever Oliver Drake, when Cincinnati sent 10 men to the plate. Tucker Barnhart drove in Phillip Ervin with a lined single with one out before Hamilton made it a 3-0 game with a two-out single to right field.
Back-to-back doubles opened the Reds' sixth inning, with Duvall scoring on Scooter Gennett's two-base hit. Two outs after eighth-place batter Phil Gosselin was intentionally walked, Castillo slashed an RBI single down the right-field line to make it a 5-0 game. Hamilton followed with an RBI single before a two-run double from Jose Peraza and Joey Votto's RBI double blew the game open for a 9-0 lead.
"Our offense finally broke out. It was good," Duvall said.
Cincinnati, which entered the night without a hit in its last 16 at-bats with runners in scoring position, was 8-for-15 in those situations vs. the Brewers.
"When you're not playing well, you want to tense up and try to do way more than what you're supposed to be doing. It's not good," Hamilton said. "You want to go up there and just be relaxed. Today was a big breakout game for us. We can only get better from here."
The Brewers turned Castillo's great night into a bland line with a four-run rally in the seventh. Reliever Jorge Lopez delivered the big blow with two outs on an 0-2 fastball when he notched a two-run double that ended Castillo's evening. Reliever Cody Reed then let two inherited baserunners score on a wild pitch and Jonathan Villar's RBI single to make it a 9-4 game.
Castillo finished with four earned runs, five hits, four walks and eight strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings.
After Milwaukee made the game a little more tense, it was a Duvall two-out RBI double that scored Hamilton for the 10th run -- also a season high for Cincinnati.
Duvall began the season batting .103 (4-for-39) over his first 12 games, but he has hit safely in his last four games, going 7-for-16.
"I barreled up some balls. That feels good," Duvall said. "At the end of the day, it's what you're trying to get back to when you're trying to find it."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Castillo's great escape: The Reds' lead wasn't so robust -- three runs -- in the bottom of the fifth when Castillo hit a bump in the road. A one-out walk followed by right fielder Ervin's misplay of Orlando Arcia's single put runners on second and third base. Castillo struck out Jett Bandy to get the second out, then pinch-hitter Eric Sogard narrowly missed tying the game with a three-run homer before the drive hooked foul. He grounded out to first base to squelch the rally.
HE SAID IT
"We had a lot of good at-bats today. We took advantage of the things we haven't been able to do much, taking advantage of runners in scoring position and driving guys in, especially with two outs." -- Price, on the offense's big night
The series rolls onward at 7:40 p.m. ET on Tuesday with Sal Romano pitching for the Reds against Milwaukee's Junior Guerra. Duvall could be a tough out for Guerra. Of Duvall's three hits in nine at-bats vs. Guerra, two have been home runs.
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.