Winker's clutch 2B highlights Reds' slugfest

Winker's clutch 2B highlights Reds' slugfest

CINCINNATI -- The Reds feasted on a bounty of extra-base hits and needed to be gluttonous to outslug the Brewers for a 7-5 victory on Saturday afternoon at Great American Ball Park. Eight of Cincinnati's 11 total hits were for extra bases.

Trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth, the Reds used a three-run rally to take the game back. Eugenio Suarez hit a leadoff triple to right field and scored on Scooter Gennett's RBI single. A two-run double by pinch-hitter Jesse Winker made it a 6-4 lead for the Reds. In the seventh, Joey Votto hit a leadoff double and scored on Gennett's one-out RBI double.

Gennett providing unexpected pop

Gennett's RBI double

"We think we can win every game," Reds shortstop Zack Cozart after his team's record improved to 8-4. "When you go up and down the clubhouse, that's the thing we have. There's no doubt I feel good at the plate, but it feels good to get to that eight wins. We want to continue this. For us, this isn't a fluke. This is us playing well with a lot of energy and we want to continue."

Cozart's RBI triple

The lead changed hands four times in the game as Milwaukee opened a 2-0 advantage in the first inning on Brandon Finnegan before he exited with a strained left shoulder. Cincinnati scored three in the second inning, including Scott Schebler's leadoff homer and Cozart's RBI triple that extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

Schebler's solo homer

"The only pitch I regretted in that inning was the pitch to Cozart," said Milwaukee starter Zach Davies, who labored through five innings. "It was just a grind for me today."

As the Reds' bullpen pieced together the final eight innings, Milwaukee did not go away and hit three homers of its own. Hernan Perez's leadoff homer in the sixth gave the Brewers a 4-3 lead. Eric Thames slugged a pair of long balls including one in the seventh against reliever Tony Cingrani.

Thames' solo home run

Often used later in games, it was Raisel Iglesias who pitched two innings in the fifth and sixth and was awarded the victory. Drew Storen chipped in 1 2/3 innings in the seventh and eighth innings while Michael Lorenzen bounced back from a four-run game on Friday, and notched the save with a scoreless ninth.

Lorenzen secures the save

"[Iglesias] is one of those guys that is stretched out and capable of throwing 45-50 pitches right now," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "If I had to use him, I would have with the risk of beating up other guys that they might get hurt or sore."

Winker's winner: Pinch-hitting in the sixth against Carlos Torres with runners on second and third base, Winker attacked a first-pitch cutter and skied a fly ball that fell into short left field for his first big league hit. Ryan Braun overran the ball as it took a hop away from him towards the line, allowing both runs to score. It was ruled a two-run double. "The ball took a big hop sideways," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. "Ryan was kind of committed; he was aggressive in going after it."

Winker, Cincinnati's No. 3 prospect according to, received his first callup to the Reds on Friday.

"Today I came to the yard and it was like 'whenever I'm called upon, I'm just going to be ready to go to work.' I just wanted to hit the ball hard," Winker said. "I kind of got jammed but it worked. I drove them both in and I was really happy. I was happy we won. I just want to help contribute any way I can."

No taming Thames: Thames has decimated Reds pitching with four home runs over the first three games of the series. In the third inning against Robert Stephenson, he lifted a 2-2 pitch to right field for a leadoff homer that made it a 3-3 game. His second homer with two outs in the seventh against Cingrani closed the Brewers' deficit to two runs.

Thames' second solo homer

"He's taking good swings right now; it's fun to watch," Counsell said of Thames, who is 6-for-12 with seven RBIs in the three games. More >

"It was the first at-bat my grandma has seen and my uncle has seen of me in the pros. They couldn't get to any of the Minor League games because they were busy. Last year when I was in Triple-A and we went to Buffalo, I was hurt so they didn't get to see me there. This was the first one. It was pretty cool my grandma got to see my first hit in the big leagues." -- Winker

Leading off the top of the sixth against Iglesias, Perez lofted a fly ball to left field that kept carrying and appeared to hit the wall and bounce back into play for a double. The play was reviewed and the call was overturned -- giving Perez his first homer of the season. The replay definitively showed that the ball struck a fan in the seats beyond the fence.

Perez homers after review

Brewers: Wily Peralta will be looking for a third consecutive solid start to begin the season when the four-game series at Cincinnati concludes at 12:10 p.m. CT. Peralta held the Blue Jays and Rockies batters to a combined .216 average in his first two outings (2-0, 2.45).

Reds: The four-game series concludes at 1:10 p.m. ET Sunday with Sal Romano coming up from Triple-A Louisville to make his big league debut. Romano, who pitched well in Spring Training, had 1.38 ERA in two starts for Louisville this season.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Andrew Call is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.