CINCINNATI — Colin Moran homered in his third straight at-bat, Brandon Drury and Kyle Farmer each hit a three-run homer, and the Cincinnati Reds won two straight games for the first time this season, rallying past the Milwaukee Brewers 10-5 on Monday night.
“It was great to have a couple of wins in a row,” Reds manager David Bell said. “The way it happened was beautiful.”
The Reds, baseball’s worst team at 6-23, bounced back after being swept in three games at Milwaukee last week by a combined score of 34-12.
“This has been a struggle and no one wants to go through it but it has brought us all together,” Drury said. “There are a lot of new faces. We’ve been forced to stay together.”
Moran connected in the second inning off Brandon Woodruff (3-2) to make it 1-0. His first longball of the season was a grand slam in the sixth inning of Sunday’s 7-3 win over the Pirates, and he hit a two-run blast in his next at-bat. Moran has started the last seven games with Joey Votto on the COVID-19-related injured list.
Luis Castillo, who missed spring training and the first 28 games with a right shoulder strain, made his season debut for Cincinnati. He allowed one hit through the first three innings before Rowdy Tellez doubled in two runs in the fourth. Omar Narvaez then homered leading off the fifth to make it 3-1.
Castillo was pulled later in the fifth and gave up three runs on three hits with three walks and five strikeouts. The Reds still don’t have a quality start this season.
“I’m feeling really healthy and I’m looking forward to more starts here,” Castillo said. “I would have liked to get through the fifth inning. That’s always the manager’s decision. Being my first outing of the season it was good. I will have more games to pitch deeper.”
Luis Cessa (1-0) escaped the fifth before allowing two runs in the sixth. Alexis Diaz, Jeff Hoffman and Joel Kuhnel combined to throw 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
TJ Friedl began the Reds’ rally in the fifth with a run-scoring double. Drury followed by taking Woodruff deep to center to put Cincinnati ahead 5-3.
Woodruff allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings.
“I’ve had the bug of letting a big inning get to me,” Woodruff said. “The two-seam fastball is a little too flat. I can’t stand when our team gives us a lead and I give it right back. Not happy. Need to get better at some stuff.”
Farmer snapped an 0-for-34 skid in the seventh with his first homer of the season, a three-run drive off Hoby Milner that made it 10-5.
“The guys’ reaction meant a lot,” Farmer said. “They knew that I was struggling. It was like 200 pounds off my back.”
Every Reds starter had at least one hit and scored a run, the first time Cincinnati has done that since June 22, 2007, against Seattle.
The Brewers had gone 22-11 at Great American Ball Park over the past four seasons, the best of any NL Central club.
“We had some rallies and hit some balls pretty hard,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “They scored 10. It’s hard to keep up.”
In Woodruff’s win over Cincinnati on Tuesday, he struck out 12 and didn’t walk a batter. The Reds showed more patience this time.
“They laid off his off-speed stuff really well,” Counsell said. “Usually with his fastball, he gets some swings on his off-speed. He didn’t get that tonight.”
Woodruff has allowed 12 earned runs in his last three starts, raising his ERA to 5.97.
Grammy Award-winning country artist Tricia Yearwood sung the national anthem, and the Cincinnati Bengals’ Evan McPherson, who kicked the winning field goal in this year’s AFC championship game, threw out a ceremonial first pitch to tight end Hayden Hurst.
Reds: LHP Mike Minor (left shoulder strain) has rehab starts scheduled on Tuesday and Sunday at Triple-A Louisville. INF Mike Moustakas was placed on the injured list prior to Monday’s game with an unspecified illness. The Reds have 14 players on the IL.
Reds rookie right-hander Hunter Greene (1-4, 8.71 ERA) allowed a club record-tying five home runs at Milwaukee last Thursday. Freddy Peralta (1-1, 5.18) tossed five innings in the Brewers’ 18-4 win over the Reds last Wednesday.