For the first time this season, the Cincinnati Reds left the field with a two-game winning streak and they did it with a full-blown bat barrage.
And they did it Monday night in Great American Ball Park against the first-place Milwaukee Brewers with a 10-5 runs and hits extravaganza.
In addition, it was the second straight game during which they came from behind to win after starting the season 0-23 after falling behind.
Furthermore, they did it without Joey Votto, Jonathan India, Nick Senzel and Mike Moustakas, all on the injured list.
A lineup featuring Matt Reynolds, Albert Almora Jr., T.J. Friedl, Brandon Drury and Colin Moran — all projected as bench players — assaulted the highly regarded Milwaukee pitching staff for 14 hits, the most this season.
The biggest blow might have been delivered by Kyle Farmer in the seventh inning. The Reds led by only 7-5 when Tyler Stephenson and Tyler Naquin opened with singles.
When Farmer stepped into the batter’s box, he was 0 for his last 34. He released all his pent-up frustration with a three-run home run over the right center field fence for a 10-5 lead.
Every Reds starter had at least one hit, with Drury, Tommy Pham, Naquin, Almora Jr., and Reynolds contributing two each.
Luis Castillo made his season debut on the mound and gave up a game-opening single to Kolten Wong, but he was quickly erased on a double play.
Castillo then breezed three innings without a base runner. And Moran gave him a 1-0 lead in the second with a home run off Milwaukee starter Brandon Woodruff, Moran’s third homer in three at bats after hitting two in his last two at bats Sunday against Pittsburgh.
Castillo, though, ran out of petrol in the fourth and walked two of the first three Brewers. Both scored on Rowdy Tellez’s double up the left field gap. The Reds lead the majors in walks coming around to score.
Milwaukee pushed its advantage to 3-1 in the fifth and rid themselves of Castillo. Omar Narvaez led the inning with a home run. Castillo issued another walk, and his night was over. He left with a 3-1 deficit.
The Reds still have not had a starting pitcher paste together a quality start, the only team in the majors without out. And no Reds starter has completed six innings — 30 straight games, an all-time MLB record.
Castillo, though, was removed from the specter of a loss when the Reds erupted for five runs in the fifth, highlighted by Drury’s three-run home run to dead center, a 414-foot blast.
That gave the Reds a 6-3 lead, but the Brewers battled back with two runs in the sixth against relievers Luis Cessa and Alexis Diaz.
Tyrone Taylor produced a run-scoring single off Cessa and Jace Peterson singled home another.
The Reds’ lead was down to 6-5 and the Brewers had runners on third and second. Wong lined one toward the left-field wall, but Pham chased it down for the third out.
Cincinnati recovered one run in the bottom of the sixth on back-to-back singles by Almora Jr. and Reynolds, the bottom of the Reds order, and a two-out single by Pham.
The Reds, though, left runners on third and second when Moran struck out and they took a 7-5 lead into the seventh.
Farmer then put the finishing touches on the Brewers with his three-run rip in the seventh, giving the Reds their third win in four games and handing the Brewers their third straight loss.
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