Suarez hits 3-run HR ... after Browning calls it
CHICAGO -- Former Reds pitcher Tom Browning called for a three-run home run and Eugenio Suarez delivered.
During the Reds' TV broadcast of Saturday's 8-7 loss to the Cubs, Browning was interviewed on the rooftop across from Wrigley Field -- the same place he visited while in full uniform exactly 25 years ago on July 7, 1993. It was a stunt that earned him a fine from manager Lou Piniella.
"I'm looking for a three-run homer," Browning said. "Obviously, we've already got the lead. Maybe we'll add some insurance runs this inning and kind of duplicate what we did back in '93."
Moments later in the third inning, Suarez connected for a three-run homer to give the Reds a 5-0 lead.
Twenty-five years ago when Browning was a rooftop spectator, Kevin Mitchell hit a home run -- also in the third inning -- as he watched with his legs dangling over the side of the roof's railing.
Here are two more coincidences: Mitchell wore the same No. 7 that Suarez currently wears. And Reds starting pitcher Matt Harvey wears No. 32, the number Browning had.
Suarez will learn on Sunday if he has earned a spot on his first All-Star team. Whether or not he makes it, Suarez has indisputably posted stellar numbers. He's batting .312/.402/.580 with 18 homers and a National League-leading 66 RBIs.
In the first inning, Suarez turned a 1-2 count into a walk against Tyler Chatwood to load the bases. It led to a pair of wild pitches that scored two runs.
During his next time up in the third inning, Suarez fell behind 0-2 before it became an eight-pitch duel. Suarez looked at three pitches to force a full count and fouled off two more before he lifted a 91.8-mph fastball deep into the left-field bleachers for a three-run homer and the five-run lead.
Reaching in all four plate appearances in the game, Suarez walked again in the fifth inning and hit a single to lead off the seventh.