CINCINNATI – Reds rookie Aristides Aquino homered in his first three at-bats, keeping up his prodigious power display and leading Cincinnati over the Cubs, 10-1, on Saturday night.
Aquino came up twice more with a chance to match the major league record for home runs in a game. He drew a four-pitch walk in the sixth, then struck out in the seventh.
Aquino has hit seven homers in his first 10 games, tying the big league mark set by Trevor Story in 2016.
With three more whiplash swings, the 25-year-old outfielder who struggled to escape the lowest levels of minor league ball became an overnight sensation in Cincinnati.
The 39,866 fans demanded a curtain call after Aquino hit solo shots off Kyle Hendricks (8-9) in the second and third innings, and then another off Dillon Maples in the fourth.
There have been 18 players to hit four homers in a game, a feat that’s never been achieved by a rookie. J.D. Martinez was the last to homer four times, Sept. 4, 2017, for Arizona.
Fans were on their feet and booed as Alec Mills walked Aquino in the sixth, throwing a breaking ball on a 3-0 count. Mills fanned Aquino on a low breaking ball to end the seventh.
Hendricks suffered his worst loss since returning from a sore shoulder July 2. Hendricks gave up seven runs and a season-high 12 hits in only 22⁄3 innings, his shortest since he went the same distance against the Dodgers on June 27 last season.
Cubs reliever Steve Cishek went on the 10-day injured list with a sore left hip, joining relievers Craig Kimbrel (inflamed right knee) and Brandon Kintzler (sore chest muscle).
Reds reliever Jared Hughes completed his three-game suspension for his role in a brawl with the Pirates on July 30, one of eight suspensions handed down.
Cubs: Reliever Steve Cishek went on the 10-day injured list with a sore left hip, joining relievers Craig Kimbrel (inflamed right knee) and Brandon Kintzler (sore chest muscle) on the list.
Reds: Shortstop Jose Iglesias got a day of rest for a sore right biceps. He could return for the final game of the series.
Cubs: Jon Lester (9-8) gave up 11 runs – matching his career high – in his last start against Oakland. In his last two starts, the left-hander has slowed 14 earned runs in nine innings.
Reds: Luis Castillo (11-4) has won his last two starts, allowing three runs in 14 innings while beating the Pirates and Angels.