The grand slam came at a good time. The Pirates cut the Reds’ lead to 2-1 in the fourth with a home run by Colin Moran against Matt Harvey, who allowed one earned run on three hits in six innings and picked up his first victory of the season.
In the fifth, Gennett gave Harvey and the Reds breathing room.
“It’s crazy man,” Gennett said. “This game’s nuts. To be able to hit a home run in general is unlikely in this game for anybody. To do it in that situation is awesome. To give us a nice cushion there and the lead was great. The most important thing is the ‘W’ at the end of the day. I’m just happy I was able to contribute in that situation.”
Gennett hit four grand slams last season. This was the first by a Reds batter this season. He drove in two more runs and shares the team lead with Eugenio Suarez with 33 RBIs. Gennett has eight home runs, one behind Adam Duvall.
With a 2-for-3 night, Gennett also improved his batting average to a team-best .324. No one else is hitting better than .290. Gennett has six home runs and 18 RBIs in his last 13 appearances.
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“It’s just baseball,” Gennett said. “There’s ups and downs. I could go in there and look at video of the times I don’t do good and strike out, but lately, I’ve been looking at the times I do good, just trying to feed myself positive thoughts and vibes. This is a game of failure. It seems to help, so I’m going to stick to that.”
The Pirates walked Joey Votto to get to Gennett in the fifth. He hit the first pitch he saw deep into the stands in right field.
“It definitely makes sense of why they did that,” Gennett said. “Joey, in my opinion, is the best hitter in the game, so I definitely didn’t take it personally or anything like that. In that situation, I like getting up there with the bases loaded. Early in my career, I would have tried to be selective and put a good at-bat together rather than realizing they’re not going to try to walk me with the bases loaded. Being aggressive is in my opinion the way to go in that situation. He threw a good pitch. I was just able to put a good swing on it.”
Pirates at Reds, 12:35 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410