Gennett on 4-homer feat: ‘Crazy … a little short of a miracle’

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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What to know about Scooter Gennett

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Scooter Gennett broke out of his slump Monday. He followed up Tuesday by accomplishing something previously done by, well, nobody in Cincinnati Reds franchise history — not Johnny Bench or Tony Perez or Ted Kluszewski or Frank Robinson or Eric Davis or Adam Dunn or Ken Griffey Jr.

The 5-foot-10, 185-pound left-handed batter became the first player in franchise history and 17th player in major-league history to hit four home runs in one game as the Reds pounded the St. Louis Cardinals, 13-1. He also drove in 10 runs, tying the club record set by Walker Cooper on July 6, 1949, against the Chicago Cubs.

WATCH: Gennett makes MLB history

“I was kind of laughing, to be honest with you,” the Lebanon native said about his reaction to watching homer No. 4 sail over the right field wall. “For a guy like me to do that is crazy — a little short of a miracle.

“It’s surreal. I’m truly blessed. Being from here and born here and watching (the Reds) play when I was little — I can’t put it into words.”

Manager Bryan Price was similarly at a loss.

“It’s amazing, especially since he’s not an everyday player for us,” Price said. “He’s got power, but four homers in onegame? I don’t know what to tell you. It’s very emotional. It was an honor to witness that.”

Going into his last at-bat Monday, the utility player claimed off waivers from Milwaukee on March 28 was hitless in 19 at-bats, the second-longest stretch of his career.

By the end of eight innings Tuesday, Gennett had six hits and 12 RBIs over his last six at-bats. His seventh-inning, two-run double snapped a 2-2 tie in the Reds’ 4-2 win over St. Louis on Monday, and on Tuesday, he added an RBI single in the first inning, his second career grand-slam in the third, a two-run homer in the fourth, a solo shot in the sixth and a two-run shot in the eighth.

That’s four home runs in four straight at-bats.

“It feels pretty cool,” Gennett said. “It’s something I never thought I’d do. Even three home runs is crazy. I made a few adjustments trying to relax and swing at better pitches.”

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Shortstop Zack Cozart went 2-for-3 with a walk to extend to 28 his streak of consecutive games reaching base at least once as the Reds matched their widest winning margin of the season. The streak is the longest of his career and the longest active streak in the major leagues.

The beneficiary of the Gennett eruption was right-hander Tim Adleman, who extended his recent surge by allowing three hits and one run with two walks while tying his career high with seven strikeouts in seven innings. Adleman (4-2) improved to 2-0 with 1.71 earned-run average over his last three starts.

“It’s always nice to have Scooter Gennett on your team,” Adleman said. “It’s funny. A buddy just texted me and said Scooter just hit more home runs than he had in his entire minor league career.”

St. Louis starting pitcher Adam Wainwright had allowed one run in 26 1/3 innings over his last four starts and lugged an active scoreless-inning streak of 16 1/3 into Tuesday’s appearance, but the Reds wasted no time snapping it. Billy Hamilton, who used a bunt single to start Monday’s seventh-inning, four-run rally, led off the first inning with a swinging bunt that hugged the first base line and came to rest squarely on the chalk about seven feet short of the bag.

Two outs later, Wainwright (6-4) grazed Eugenio Suarez with a pitch and Gennett, who started in left field as Adam Duvall got a day off, singled to left field for a 1-0 Cincinnati lead.

The Reds caught a break on a video review that temporarily cost them a run in the third. Cozart was on third and Joey Votto on first with one out when Suarez hit a fly ball down the right field line that Stephen Piscotty originally was ruled to have caught for a sacrifice fly. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny asked for a review, which showed the ball grazed the wall first, wiping out the run. Suarez walked to load the bases, settting up Gennett’s fourth homer of the season and second career grand-slam.

The Reds knocked Wainwright out in the fourth with a two-out rally that started with Hamilton’s infield second to second. He went to third on Cozart’s double and, after Votto was intentionally walked, Suarez cleared the bases with a line drive triple to left-center field that eluded center fielder Dexter Fowler’s attempt at a diving catch.

Wainwright left having tied his single-game career high for earned runs allowed with nine, and Gennett greeted reliever John Gant with a two-run homer to deep right-center field.

Gennett added an opposite-field solo homer in the sixth, prompting a curtain call from the giddy crowd of 18,620.

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