Barnhart’s grand slam carries Cincinnati Reds to win

Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart wore a United States Olympic Team hat in the clubhouse Tuesday after a 6-3 victory over the Miami Marlins.

If they handed out medals to baseball players, Barnhart would have left Great American Ball Park with a gold. He hit his first career grand slam in the first inning, powering the Reds (49-69) to their 17th victory in 29 games since the All-Star break.

Barnhart extended his career-high hitting streak to 12 games. He went 1-for-3 with a walk. His average has jumped from .252 to .267 since the end of July.

Barnhart credited a relaxed approach for his improvement. He doesn’t take as many swings before games as he did early in the season or in years past.

“I give myself a mental break really,” Barnhart said. “I’m not up there thinking as much as I used to.”

The Reds started a five-run rally in the first with two out. Three singles and a bases-loaded walk preceded Barnhart’s home run, his seventh of the season in 88 games. He hit three home runs in 81 games last season.

“The thing that (Barnhart) gives you is an an at-bat you can trust,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “A green light on a 3-0. An ability to lay off a tough pitch to get into a good count. I would hit and run with him based on the circumstances. I would squeeze with him. There’s a lot of things I trust that he can do offensively.”

Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani (7-1, 3.10 ERA) gave up one more run in the next five innings. He left after six, having allowed two earned runs on seven hits. He walked none and struck out six.

Notes: With attendance of 14,440, the Reds drew their 10th crowd under 15,000. Entering the game, they were drawing 7,227 fewer fans per game compared to the same point last season, through 56 home games. That's the biggest drop in baseball. No other team has seen attendance fall by more than 4,000. … Scott Schebler, who ended an 0-for-28 slump Monday, went 3-for-4. … Ichiro Suzuki tripled in the ninth. He now has a hit in every existing big-league park.