Aristides Aquino became the second major league player to record a three-homer performance in the first 10 games of his career on Saturday as the host Cincinnati Reds posted a 10-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Aquino homered to lead off the second inning against Kyle Hendricks (8-9) and again with two outs in the third before adding another solo shot off Dillon Maples in the fourth. The last homer gave Aquino seven in 10 games, matching Colorado’s Trevor Story for the major-league record.
Sonny Gray (7-6) scattered two hits and struck out seven over six innings to improve to 2-1 in four starts against Chicago this season. The 29-year-old contributed to the offense by ripping a two-run single as part of a four-run third inning.
Eugenio Suarez belted his team-leading 32nd homer to lead off the fourth inning and rookie Nick Senzel and Kyle Farmer also went deep for Cincinnati, which has won 10 of its last 14 games.
Aquino matched Eric Davis as the lone Reds’ rookie to belt a homer in four straight games when his blast to lead off the second inning sailed just inside the left-field foul pole. The homer gave Cincinnati a 2-0 lead.
Senzel followed with another homer before Aquino ignited a stretch of six straight hits in the third inning by depositing a first-pitch sinker from Hendricks over the wall in left field. Tucker Barnhart had an RBI single two batters later before Gray’s base hit to right field plated a pair to stake the Reds to a 7-0 advantage.
Suarez homered to open the fourth inning before Aquino followed two batters later with a 452-foot blast on a 1-2 fastball from Maples.
The 25-year-old Aquino tied Philadelphia’s Bobby Estalella for the fewest games required to record a three-homer performance. Estalella accomplished the feat in the Phillies’ 6-4 win at Montreal on Sept. 4, 1997.
Aquino came up short in his bid for four homers, however, as he walked on four pitches in the sixth inning and struck out to end the seventh.
Farmer launched a solo homer in the sixth inning to give Cincinnati a 10-0 lead before Ohio native Kyle Schwarber led off the ninth with a homer to spoil the shutout bid.
Sal Romano rebounded to retire the side in the ninth to complete a three-inning save. The save was his second of the season.
—Field Level Media