Scooter Gennett arrived at home plate prepared for the celebration. He filled an empty bubblegum bucket with red Powerade and sunflower seeds.
As Jesse Winker crossed home plate after a game-winning, two-run home run, Gennett doused Winker, not to mention Billy Hamilton, Joey Votto and a number of other Cincinnati Reds waiting for Winker.
Winker’s first career walk-off home run gave the Reds a 7-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies in 13 innings Thursday at Great American Ball Park. The bath at home plate at the end of a hot day felt as good as the victory for Winker.
“It’s the best scene, coming around third and seeing that,” Winker said.
Until this game, the Reds were 0-38 when they trailed after eight innings. They almost tied the game in the eighth, but Eugenio Suarez was thrown out at home plate by Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez to end the inning after a single by Winker.
In the ninth, the Reds were down to their last out with runners at second and third when Rockies reliever Wade Davis threw a wild pitch, allowing Curt Casali to score. Casali started the rally by being hit by a pitch. He moved to second on a single by Jose Peraza, and both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch.
The Reds (22-41) ended a four-game losing streak and avoided being swept for the sixth time in 20 series.
“We played hard,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. “We played hard the last few nights. We didn’t play good, but we played hard. Today we played good, and we played hard and we won the ballgame.”
Reds starter Tyler Mahle allowed two earned runs on six hits in five innings. He walked two batters and struck out six. His ERA fell from 4.38 to 4.33, the best of the current Reds starters by more than a point.
Winker didn’t start the game but finished 3-for-3. He pinch hit for Adam Duvall in the eighth.
“It was a fun win for sure,” Winker said. “Whenever your name gets called, you just want to help contribute, hit the ball hard and make the plays if you get them and help the team win.”
It was Winker’s second home run of the season. He hasn’t started three of the last seven games, but Riggleman reminds him and other outfielders even if they don’t start they will often play.
“That’s our message to our guys,” Riggleman said. “We have an outfielder sitting every day, but almost every day they get in the ballgame. This thing of, ‘Well, I’m out of whack because I’m not playing every day,’ well, you pretty much are. People arent sitting that much. He came off the bench and was ready to help us today.”