Kolten Wong hits 3 homers as Brewers beat Reds 5-1

CINCINNATI (AP) — Kolten Wong hit a career-high three homers and drove in five runs, helping Brandon Woodruff and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-1 Thursday night.

Wong had a two-run drive in the second inning against Hunter Greene. He had another two-point shot in the sixth against Dauri Moreta and a solo drive in the eighth against Joel Kuhnel.

Wong has a career-high 15 home runs this season.

“I’m definitely not a guy who hits three home runs very often,” Wong said. “I had the chance to do it a few times, but I tried to do too much. I just tried not to overdo it and keep my swing tight.

Milwaukee finished with just four hits, but each of Wong’s first two homers came after the first walks.

“We had four hits,” manager Craig Counsell said. “Kolton had three, and all three were home runs. It was quite amazing. He was definitely an offensive one-man show.

The second-placed Brewers (80-70) opened a four-game set against lowly Cincinnati with their second straight win. They stayed 2 1/2 games behind Philadelphia for the NL’s third wild card.

Woodruff (12-4) struck out 11 in six innings. He allowed three hits and walked two.

The 6-foot-4 right-hander has 32 strikeouts in his last three starts — all wins. He’s struck out at least 11 in three of his four starts against the Reds this season.

“I think it starts with rhythm and timing – simple things,” Woodruff said. “I’m always getting ahead of myself. I try to get them to swing early.

Counsell sees the right-hander returning to form after missing most of June with right ankle and finger injuries.

“He’s getting better,” Counsell said. “When he came back from injury he was good, but now he’s even better at a good time for us.”

Kyle Farmer hit his 13th homer in the sixth to represent Cincinnati’s only run. Greene (4-13) struck out eight in five innings.

The NL Central game drew a crowd of 9,889, the sixth under 10,000 this season at the Great American Ball Park.

After throwing 47 pitches at at least 100 miles per hour in a 1-0 loss at St. Louis on Saturday, Greene hit triple digits 15 times against Milwaukee, according to Statcast.

“I felt solid,” Greene said. “I felt really good. Those walks hurt me. They’re a good hitting team. It’s always a battle when I face those guys. They’re pretty good at making mistakes. There’s had times where I quit. Tried to elevate a fastball to Wong. It kinda ran down the plate.

FOLLOW THE STEPS

Wong is the third Milwaukee second baseman to hit three home runs in one game. Dale Sveum did it on July 17, 1987 against the Angels, and Aaron Hill accomplished the feat on May 7, 2016 in Cincinnati.

AND CASH

Outfielder Michael Siani made his major league debut, taking the number of players used by the Reds this season to 66, a major league high.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: RHP Freddie Peralta (right shoulder) could be activated this weekend, Counsell said. Peralta has been out since May 23.

Reds: RHP Graham Ashcraft (right bicep pain) is set to come off the injured list on Saturday and make his first start since Aug. 19.

NEXT

The Brewers are expected to activate left-hander Eric Lauer (left elbow) from the disabled list to start Friday. Lauer has been out since Sept. 8. Southpaw Mike Minor (4-12) pitches for Cincinnati.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

About Marc Womack

Check Also

Phoenix Suns Trail Only Milwaukee Bucks in ESPN Power Rankings

The Phoenix Suns are off to a good start and everyone seems to be doing …