Jesse Winker hit a grand slam in the second inning, the Reds added four more homers, and Cincinnati snapped a three-game skid with an 12-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night.
Winker’s 24th homer, the second grand slam of his career, cleared the wall in right field to give the Reds a 4-1 lead after singles by Tyler Naquin and pitcher Vladimir Gutiérrez and a walk to Jonathan India.
The loss dropped Atlanta, which had won three straight and eight of 10, one game behind first-place Philadelphia and into third place in the NL East.
Cincinnati, which remained eight games behind first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central, tacked on five runs in the third to make it 9-1. Tyler Stephenson scored from second on Eugenio Suárez’s double. Naquin hit his 14th homer, a three-run shot off Josh Tomlin, and India added his 14th homer.
Vladimir Gutiérrez, who won his fourth straight start, walked two batters in the bottom of the first, and Jorge Soler scored from second on Dansby Swanson’s bloop single to make it 1-0. Gutiérrez stranded two runners in scoring position on Adam Duvall’s groundout.
Gutiérrez (8-3) gave up one run and five hits with two walks and six strikeouts in six innings. Since losing 15-11 to the New York Mets on July 19, Gutiérrez has a 1.78 ERA over his last four starts.
Kyle Muller (2-4) allowed six runs, five hits with three walks and one strikeout in 2 1/3 innings.
Winker, who went 3 for 4, hit his 32nd double in the sixth off Tomlin, and Kyle Farmer followed with his 11th homer to make it 11-1. Winker began the day tied for the major league lead in doubles and extra-base hits.
Ozzie Albies hit his 20th homer in the seventh, becoming the Braves’ career leader in homers by a second baseman with 80.
Stephenson hit his seventh homer in the ninth.
Reds: RF Nick Castellanos was held out of the lineup after getting hit by a pitch in the foot on Wednesday. “It’s a little bit swollen,” manager David Bell said. “He had it X-rayed. There’s nothing going on there. He’ll be available to pinch-hit.”… OF Nick Senzel (knee) will play at least another game at Triple-A Louisville, but Bell indicated he might need another couple of games before he returns. Senzel is working some at shortstop in the minors.
Braves: RHP Ian Anderson (forearm inflammation) has struggled in two rehab starts at Triple-A Gwinnett, posting an 8.44 ERA and no decisions. RHP Huascar Ynoa (hand fracture) has fared even worse in three rehab starts, going 0-1 with an 8.71 ERA. “Ian, I think, struggled a little bit with his command, threw a lot of pitches,” manager Brian Snitker said. “Both of them felt great. Ynoa was really good and ran out of gas in his last inning, so I heard. From what I heard, his stuff was really good.” Snitker had no immediate timetable for their returns.
The Braves took the first two games against Cincinnati to win three straight series for the first time this season. Atlanta had not won three straight series since going 7-2 over a nine-game stretch July 29-Aug. 6, 2020, against Tampa Bay, the New York Mets and Toronto.
Reds: RHP Tyler Mahle (9-3, 3.78) faces RHP Zack Wheeler (10-6, 2.42) as Cincinnati opens a three-game series Friday at Philadelphia.
Braves: RHP Charlie Morton (10-4, 3.52 ERA) takes the mound as Atlanta opens a three-game series Friday at Washington. The Nationals have not yet announced a starter.