The legend of Aristides Aquino grows by the game.
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Since the Cincinnati Reds promoted Aquino from Triple-A Louisville on Aug. 1, he has hit four home runs in eight games, driven in 10 runs and tied for the hardest hit ball this season in the big leagues (118.3 miles per hour).
Aquino started his fourth straight game Friday and hit a two-run home run in the second, giving the Reds a lead they wouldn’t relinquish on the way to a 5-2 victory against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park.
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Aquino flexed his right bicep as he rounded third base following the home run. No one could blame him for showing off. He has been the Reds’ best player in August.
“He’s confident,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He believes in what he’s doing.”
Aquino became the fifth Red to hit four home runs in his first nine games with the team, joining Ron Northey (1950), Brian R. Hunter (1994), Ron Gant (1995) and Corey Patterson (2008).
Another new Red, Trevor Bauer, also played a big part in the victory in his second start with the Reds and his first start as a Red at Great American Ball Park. After giving up a home run to Nicholas Castellanos in the first, he did not allow another run. He lasted seven innings, allowing three hits and striking out 11.
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Eugenio Suarez hit a home run in the fourth to give the Reds a 3-1 lead, and they added runs in the sixth and seventh.
The Cubs didn’t score again until the eighth. They loaded the bases with no outs against Michael Lorenzen, and then Amir Garrett relieved Lorenzen and hit the first batter he faced. Garrett then got a groundout, strikeout and groundout to end the threat.
The Reds (55-59) bounced back from a 12-5 loss in the series opener Thursday. They trail the Cubs (63-53) by seven games in the National League Central Division.
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