Peraza, Puig provide big hits for Reds in victory over Braves

The Reds’ Jose Peraza celebrates after a two-run double in the sixth inning on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

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The Reds’ Jose Peraza celebrates after a two-run double in the sixth inning on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati has won four of its last five games

Jose Peraza had not driven in a run since he homered on Opening Day when he stepped to the plate in the sixth inning Tuesday with the Cincinnati Reds trailing 4-3. He was 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Peraza hit .281 with runners in scoring position last season and drove in 58 runs, so it’s safe to say he was due. His two-run double gave the Reds the lead and they added two more runs in the inning on their way to a 7-6 victory over the Atlanta Braves in the opener of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds (9-13) won their fourth straight home game after starting the season 1-4 at home.

Quick comeback: The Braves trailed 3-0 until the fifth, and Reds starter Sonny Gray had dominated. Then Atlanta broke through with a run in the fifth and two in the sixth.

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Gray left the game with nine strikeouts. He allowed three earned runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. His ERA climbed from 2.79 to 3.28 in his fifth start.

Good start: Yasiel Puig had his own cheering section along the right-field line.

Several dozen fans gathered to support Puig, holding signs reading, “Mi amigo Puig,” “Let’s get Puiggy with it!” and “We love Puig.” Two fans even brought Cuban flags.

The group didn’t have to wait long to see their favorite player produce. Puig hit the first pitch he saw into the stands in right to give the Reds a 2-0 lead in the first.

NOTES: Robert Stephenson struck out the only two batters he faced in the sixth. He has retired 25 of the 29 batters he has faced in his last seven appearances. He lowered his ERA to 1.50. … Tucker Barnhart gave the Reds a 3-0 lead with his second home run of the season in the fourth. … The Braves stranded the tying run at third in the eighth and the ninth. Amir Garrett got a groundout to second to end the eight inning. Raisel Iglesias got a groundout to first to end the game.

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