Adams strikes again as Reds fall in 12

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 03: Zack Cozart #2 of the Cincinnati Reds tags out Brandon Phillips #4 of the Atlanta Braves as he tries to steal second base in the sixth inning of a game at Great American Ball Park on June 3, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Braves defeated the Reds 6-5 in 12 innings. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Caption
CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 03: Zack Cozart #2 of the Cincinnati Reds tags out Brandon Phillips #4 of the Atlanta Braves as he tries to steal second base in the sixth inning of a game at Great American Ball Park on June 3, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Braves defeated the Reds 6-5 in 12 innings. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Matt Adams lived and loved to torment the Reds when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals.

He isn’t slowing down now that he’s with the Atlanta Braves.

The burly first baseman hit two home runs, his first career grand slam in the sixth and an opposite-field tiebreaker into the left-center field seats in the 12th off of Blake Wood (0-4) to lift Atlanta to a 6-5 win Saturday at Great American Ball Park.

Adams now has 13 career home runs and 35 career runs batted in against Cincinnati, which has lost four of its last five games. Both are more than he’s accumulated against any other team.

He has nine home runs and 21 RBIs at Great American, more than at any other ballpark not named Busch Stadium.

His shot negated the work of relief pitchers Austin Brice, Michael Lorenzen, Raisel Iglesias, Drew Storen and Wandy Peralta. They teamed up to retire 17 of the last 19 batters they faced, including 13 straight over one stretch.

That left manager Bryan Price concerned about Sunday’s series finale. Every one of those pitchers except Lorenzen has pitched on back-to-back days, and Lorenzen went two innings Saturday.

“We were able to stay away from the length guys, but the primary guys have pitched the last couple of days, so that limits what we’ll have available (Sunday),” Price said.

The game also was costly to the Reds outfield’s left shoulders. Arismendy Alcantara replaced center fielder Billy Hamilton to start the sixth. Hamilton got up slowly in the fifth inning after making his second try of the day at a diving catch. One out into the sixth, right fielder Scott Schebler was escorted off after being shaken up while making a diving catch in right-center field of Nick Markakis’s fly ball.

The injuries? Strained left shoulders. Their immediate future? Unclear.

“We’ll probably know better in the morning,” Price said. “Right now, it doesn’t look like it’s serious enough to suggest the DL, but we’ll learn a lot overnight.”

Reds second baseman Jose Peraza snapped a scoreless tie with one out in the fourth, lifting a 62-mile-per-hour R.A. Dickey knuckleball over the left field fence for his second home run of the season and first since May 19 against Colorado.

Adams, who was acquired by Atlanta on May 20 after Freddie Freeman fractured his left wrist, hit his grand slam – a titanic no-doubter to center field – in the Braves’ 10-batter, five-run fifth inning.

The Reds, who got runners on base in every inning against Dickey, finally got to the knuckleballing right-hander in the sixth. With one out, Peraza was hit by a pitch and Mesoraco reached when Brandon Phillips was charged with an error after being ruled off second base while catching shortstop Dansby Swanson’s throw on Mesoraco’s grounder.

Pinch-hitter Patrick Kivlehan walked to load the bases, followed by Alcantara’s run-scoring single and Zack Cozart’s bases-loaded walks, setting up Votto’s game-tying, two-run single.

The Reds had runners on first and third with one out in the ninth, but Scooter Gennett – who replaced Schebler in right field – struck out and Jose Peraza grounded.

Mesoraco, Friday’s walkoff-homer hero, walked to lead off the 10th and was sacrificed to second by pinch-hitting pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who laid down a sacrifice bunt on Friday and was on the field before Saturday’s game working on bunting. Alcantara struck out, Cozart walked, but Votto struck out on three pitches.

Adam Duvall singled and Suarez walked to lead off the 11th, but Gennett struck out looking, Peraza hit into a fielder’s-choice that pushed Duvall on third, and Mesoraco popped up to end the inning.

That left the Reds 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position and with 15 men left on base, including two each in the ninth, 10th and 11th.

The teams combined to 6-for-27 with runners in scoring position and leave 25 runners on base.

“You get guys in scoring position, you want to come up with a hit to win the game, but Atlanta is trying to win the game, too,” Price said. “They made some plays and made some pitches.”