CINCINNATI (AP) — Reds rookie Aristides Aquino homered in his first three at-bats , keeping up his prodigious power display and leading Cincinnati over the Chicago Cubs 10-1 Saturday night.
Aquino came up twice more with a chance to match the major league record for home runs in a game. He drew a four-pitch walk with nothing close to the plate, then struck out in his final at-bat.
Aquino has hit seven homers in his first 10 games, tying the big league mark set by Trevor Story in 2016.
With three more whiplash swings, the 25-year-old outfielder who struggled to escape the lowest levels of minor league ball became an overnight sensation in Cincinnati.
The 39,866 fans demanded a curtain call after Aquino hit solo shots off Kyle Hendricks (8-9) in the second and third innings , and then another off Dillon Maples in the fourth .
There have been 18 players to hit four homers in a game, a feat that's never been achieved by a rookie. J.D. Martinez was the last to homer four times, on Sept. 4, 2017, for Arizona. Scooter Gennett homered four times for the Reds at Great American Ball Park on June 6, 2017.
Fans were on their feet and booed as Alec Mills walked in the sixth, throwing a breaking ball on a 3-0 count. Mills fanned Aquino on a low breaking ball to end the seventh.
Aquino has homered in four straight games, one shy of the team mark. The only other Reds rookie to homer in four straight was Eric Davis in 1984 — they share the same No. 44 and have a similar swing.
Aquino was called up to play right field when the Reds recently dealt fan favorite Yasiel Puig to the Indians. He spent six years at rookie or Single-A ball while struggling to hit, but a change that opened his stance helped him become an International League All-Star in line for his promotion.
The Reds hit six home runs overall. Eugenio Suárez hit his 32nd and Nick Senzel and Kyle Farmer also connected.
Sonny Gray (6-6) allowed two hits in six innings and singled home a pair of runs as the Reds piled up 18 hits.
Hendricks suffered his worst loss since returning from a sore shoulder on July 2. Hendricks gave up seven runs and a season-high 12 hits in only 2 2/3 innings, his shortest since he went the same distance against the Dodgers on June 27 last season.
Cardinals 3, Pirates 1: Adam Wainwright gave up a home run on the first pitch of the game but not much else, and the contending St. Louis Cardinals won their second in a row after ending a five-game losing streak.
Wainwright (8-8) allowed six hits, including the home run by Adam Frazier, and struck out eight in six innings. He improved to 6-2 this season at home.
Giovanny Gallegos pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief before yielding to Carlos Martínez, who got two outs for his 12th save in 15 chances.
Joe Musgrove (8-11) gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Tommy Edman doubled in the Cardinals sixth and scored the go-ahead run when shortstop Kevin Newman's relay throw to third evaded Colin Moran and rolled into the Pittsburgh dugout. Paul Goldschmidt followed with a single, Marcell Ozuna doubled and Paul DeJong hit an RBI single.
St. Louis made it 1-all when Ozuna grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and no out for the second straight night in the bottom of the first.
White Sox 3, Athletics 2: Reynaldo López pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning, and Eloy Jiménez homered on his bobblehead night to lead the Chicago White Sox to beat Tanner Roark and the Oakland Athletics.
López (7-9) allowed six hits, struck out three and walked three in his second straight win. The 25-year-old right-hander improved to 3-1 with a 2.13 ERA in his last six starts, continuing one of the best stretches of his career.
Oakland pulled within one when Chad Pinder and Marcus Semien scored on third baseman Ryan Goins' two-out error in the ninth. But Alex Colomé struck out Khris Davis with the bases loaded to earn his 23rd save in 24 chances.
The A's got another solid performance from Roark, but dropped to 2-3 on its weeklong stay in Chicago. The Athletics, who are in the mix for an AL wild card, lost two of three against the Cubs before winning 7-0 in the series opener against the White Sox on Friday.
Roark (7-8) allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings in his second start since he was acquired in a trade with Cincinnati on July 31. The right-hander, a Wilmington, Illinois native who played college ball at the University of Illinois, won his Oakland debut last Sunday, working five effective innings in a 4-2 victory over St. Louis.
Chicago had a 2-0 lead when manager Rick Renteria pulled López after he walked Stephen Piscotty with one out in the seventh. López was saluted with a standing ovation from the crowd of 27,026 as he walked toward the dugout.
A pair of two-out walks loaded the bases for Pinder, who sent a pinch-hit drive off Aaron Bummer toward the gap in right-center. But Jon Jay made a sliding, over-the-shoulder grab to rob Pinder of extra bases.
Bummer waited in front of the dugout to greet Jay as he came in from the outfield after the terrific catch. The White Sox also turned three double plays in their fifth win in seven games.
Jiménez connected for his 19th homer in the fifth, sending a solo drive over the wall in right-center. The crowd celebrated with their bobbleheads commemorating the rookie's first career homer April 12 against the New York Yankees.
Chicago also scored an unearned run in the third when Leury García stole second and third and came home on catcher Chris Herrmann's throwing error. Welington Castillo added an RBI single in the seventh.