Reds have a chance at a milestone not seen since 1898

Reds first baseman Joey Votto fields a ball against the Brewers on Thursday, April 13, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
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Reds first baseman Joey Votto fields a ball against the Brewers on Thursday, April 13, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

A stat that caught everyone's eye while the Cincinnati Reds were in the midst of sweeping the Pittsburgh Pirates was that the team has won its first three series of the season for the first time since the wire-to-wire World Championship in 1990.

So that got us thinking. When was the last time they won four consecutive series?

Turns out you don’t have to go that much farther to find the answer, with the team accomplishing it in 1987.

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The Reds swept a two-game set from Montreal, took two of three from San Diego at home, two of three at Atlanta and three of four at Houston en route to a 9-3 start under manager Pete Rose. But a lull in the middle of the season resulted in the team finishing 84-78 and in second place in the National League West Division, six games behind San Francisco.

After dropping the first of a four-game set against Milwaukee on Thursday night, the Reds will need to win the next three to match the 1987 team by claiming a fourth series in a row.

If it happens, the quest becomes to find the last time they won five straight.

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Well, better pack a lunch. It’s a long journey all the way back to 1898.

That plucky bunch, which was managed by Buck Ewing, won two of three against the Cleveland Spiders, swept a two-game set from the Pirates, took two of three against the Cubs, then won a one-game series against the Spiders before hitting the road for the first time, where they took four of five in Pittsburgh.

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The Reds finished 92-60, but they were a distant third in the NL standings, 11.5 behind the champion Boston Beaneaters and 5.5 back of the runner-up Baltimore Orioles.