Scooter Gennett becomes first player in Reds history with four-homer game

Scooter Gennett becomes first player in Reds history with four-homer game


CINCINNATI -- Scooter Gennett hit four home runs , matching the major league record, and finished with 10 RBIs as the Cincinnati Reds routed the slumping St. Louis Cardinals 13-1 on Tuesday night.

Gennett became the 17th player to homer four times in one game - and perhaps the least likely. A scrappy second baseman who was claimed off waivers from Milwaukee in late March, he began the night with 38 career home runs in five seasons, including three this year.

Josh Hamilton was the previous player to hit four home runs in one game, for Texas against Baltimore in May 2012.

The 27-year-old Gennett singled his first time up and then homered in four straight at-bats , including a grand slam . His 10 RBIs tied Cincinnati's club record.

Gennett snapped an 0-for-19 slump during the Reds' 4-2 win over the Cardinals on Monday. He went 5 for 5 on Tuesday and raised his batting average 32 points to .302.

Since being picked up by the Reds late in spring training, Gennett has played a utility role for Cincinnati. He started in left field Tuesday night.

The last National League player to hit four home runs in one game was Shawn Green for the Los Angeles Dodgers against Milwaukee in May 2002.

Gennett hit an RBI single and his second career slam off St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright (6-4), who brought a long scoreless streak into the game but couldn't handle a team that has hit him like no other. He lasted only 3 2/3 innings and gave up nine runs for just the third time in his career.

The last time? Also against Cincinnati in 2013.

Gennett's grand slam was the first Wainwright had allowed since 2012.

Eugenio Suarez's bases-loaded triple in the fourth ended Wainwright's outing. Gennett followed with his fifth homer of the season off John Gant, and then hit a solo shot off the right-hander.

Gennett got his second curtain call of the game after his two-run shot off John Brebbia in the eighth.

Tim Adleman (4-2) gave up one run - on Stephen Piscotty's homer - in seven innings.

The Cardinals have dropped a season-high five straight and eight of their last 10.

The Reds have won three in a row against the Cardinals for the first time since 2015. They've taken nine of their last 14 against St. Louis.

Wainwright's streak of scoreless innings ended at 17 in the first. Billy Hamilton tapped a grounder that the Cardinals let roll, and it stopped on the first base line. He advanced on a groundout and scored on Gennett's single that got the Reds rolling.

Wainwright fell to 9-11 career against Cincinnati with a 5.01 ERA.

Starting to rev things up, Hunter Pence has big night at plate and in left

Starting to rev things up, Hunter Pence has big night at plate and in left

PEORIA — Jeff Samardzija spent a couple minutes after Thursday’s start talking to reporters about how deep he thinks the Giants lineup can be. It’ll be a hell of a lot deeper if Hunter Pence keeps hitting like this. 

After a slow start to the spring, Pence is charging. He had three hits against the Padres: a triple that bounced off the top of the wall in right-center, a hard single up the middle, and a double to center. The more encouraging plays for the Giants happened in left field. Pence chased down a drive to the line in the third inning, leaving the bases loaded. He opened the fourth by going the other direction and gloving a fly ball to left-center. 

"A good game for Hunter, both ways," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's getting more comfortable out there. You can see it with the jumps he's getting right now. It takes a little while when you change positions, but I think he's going to be fine out there."

The Giants appear set to have Austin Jackson and Pence atop the lineup against left-handed starters, and that duo could see plenty of time early. Seven of the first nine games are against the Dodgers, who have four lefty starters. 

--- Evan Longoria had a double off the right-center wall on Wednesday after missing a week with a sore ankle. He had a single the same way in his second at-bat Thursday. More than the at-bats, Longoria has impressed with his soft hands and steady arm at third. The ankle looks fine, too. 

“My ankle feels pretty good,” Longoria said. “I don’t think it’s going to be an issue going forward.”

--- It’s been a quiet spring for Andrew McCutchen, but we saw the wheels tonight. McCutchen easily stole second after a two-run single in the fifth. When Evan Longoria bounced one to the left side, shortstop Freddy Galvis tried to go to third for the lead out, but McCutchen beat that throw, too. He got up and put his hands on his hips, as if to say, "Why'd you even try that?"

--- Samardzija allowed three homers in a six-batter span in the third. He allowed three homers in an inning in his previous start, too, but he said he’s not concerned. Samardzija deemed it a sequencing issue. He’s working in a new changeup and threw it in situations he normally wouldn’t; Eric Hosmer took advantage of a floating one, crushing it to deep, deep right for the third homer. 

--- With a runner on, Brandon Belt put down a perfect bunt to foil the shift. Belt does that every spring, particularly against NL West teams, but rarely during the regular season. Maybe this will be the year?

Belt later crushed a homer to deep right. That had to feel good for a number of reasons. Belt is fighting a cold and he learned earlier in the day that his college coach, Augie Garrido, had passed away.

Josh Osich goes back to his roots looking to unleash all the potential


Josh Osich goes back to his roots looking to unleash all the potential

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — For most pitchers, spring training is a time to experiment and add a pitch or two. Josh Osich is using this month to go the other direction. 

Osich spent the offseason watching film of his 2015 season, when he looked like he might one day be the closer in San Francisco, and decided that he needed to get back to his roots. That means the curveball, which he tried so hard to mix in last year, is now far back in the cupboard. The four-seam and two-seam fastballs are once again the focus, with an emphasis on changing eye levels more than he did a year ago. The changeup and cutter will round out his arsenal for the most part. 

Osich’s raw stuff is still as good as just about any lefty reliever in the league, and he hopes to take advantage of that while putting a rough 2017 season in his rearview mirror. He had a 6.23 ERA last season and 1.73 WHIP.

“It’s just one of those learning years,” Osich said. “I tried to live at the bottom of the zone and I was, but I was actually below the zone. So then I would fall behind and need to throw a strike and that’s when guys would hit me.”

Osich, 29, had a 2.20 ERA and 1.12 WHIP during that 2015 season that he keeps going back to. He walked eight batters in 28 2/3 innings, a far cry from the 27 he walked in 43 1/3 last year. While watching the 2015 version of himself, Osich saw that his hands were higher, and that’s something he’s working to replicate. He’s also trying to slow his pace to the plate. So far, the results are nothing but encouraging. Osich allowed one hit and struck out one in a 2 1/3 inning appearance on Wednesday night. Manager Bruce Bochy let him extend himself to keep the good vibes going. 

In six appearances this spring, Osich has allowed just four hits over seven scoreless innings. He has seven strikeouts and one walk. 

“O, it just seems like he’s got confidence,” Bochy said. “He’s kept it simple, he’s not tinkering with different pitches. He’s throwing more strikes, and more than anything he’s just trying to pound the strike zone now with quality strikes. That’s all he has to do. You look at him and he’s hitting 95 with a couple of good off-speed pitches. That works here.”