Jesse Winker belted three home runs and Tyler Naquin added a towering three-run homer to help the Cincinnati Reds snap a four-game skid with a 9-4 win over the visiting Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.
With his first career three-homer night, Winker continued his torrid start to 2021 with four hits and a walk to lift his average to .356, sparking “M-V-P” chants from the home crowd at Great American Ball Park.
Jeff Hoffman (3-3) pitched out of trouble early and worked around four walks over five innings as the Reds won for the first time (1-4) on their seven-game homestand. Hoffman won for the first time in six starts, dating back to a 10-3 win over Cleveland on April 16.
The game was a matchup of two slumping teams. The Reds were coming off four straight losses, most recently a 19-4 drubbing to San Francisco on Thursday. Friday’s loss was the Brewers’ 13th in their last 17 games since opening the season 17-10.
Brewers starter Adrian Houser (3-5) struggled from the beginning, allowing six runs and five hits in four-plus innings. He walked four and struck out four.
The Reds claimed their first lead since Tuesday night when Naquin crushed his 10th homer of the season, a 459-foot rocket just the second time in 16 games the Reds had scored in the first inning.
Hoffman briefly struggled with the lead, walking three straight in the second, including a pass to eighth-place hitter Luis Urias, forcing in Milwaukee’s first run.
Cincinnati got that run back in the third when Winker drilled the first of his three homers, a line drive 431 feet to the centerfield lawn for a 4-1 lead. Winker hit another Houser pitch at the knees over the fence for his 10th of the season to lead off the fifth and a 5-1 advantage.
After Hoffman was pulled after five innings, Amir Garrett, Lucas Sims, Tejay Antone and Brad Brach combined to finish the game, with Sims giving up three runs in relief and retiring only one batter.
Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain made a spectacular running catch, laying out to snare a line drive to deep left-center and rob Tyler Stephenson of extra bases to begin the seventh.
Winker unloaded off reliever Josh Lindblom to open the eighth. He became the fourth leadoff hitter in franchise history with three homers in a game, joining Chris Heisey in 2011, Jay Bruce in 2010 and Pete Rose in 1978.
--Field Level Media