CINCINNATI (AP) — Christian Yelich bolted out of the box, sprinting around the bases and cruising into third standing up for his first triple of the season.
A very well-timed triple, too.
The Milwaukee Brewers star hit for a record-tying third cycle — amazingly, all of them against Cincinnati. Yelich accomplished the feat Wednesday in a 14-11 loss to the Reds.
“I’d definitely rather win the game,” Yelich said. “Weird things happen in baseball. Any time you can hit for a cycle, it’s pretty cool. I will try to enjoy it as much as possible.”
Yelich tripled during a six-run ninth inning rally. His teammates were well aware of the significance, and they stood on the top row of the dugout to applaud him.
Yelich became the sixth player in major league history to hit at least one home run, triple, double and single in the same game three times. He joined Trea Turner, Adrián Beltré, Babe Herman, Bob Meusel and John Reilly in accomplishing the feat.
Earlier, Yelich doubled in the first, hit a three-run homer in the third and singled in the fifth.
Late in the 2018 season, Yelich hit for the cycle twice in a span of three weeks against the Reds.
“A lot of things kind of have to happen to hit the cycle,” the former National League MVP said. “It is hard enough to get four hits in a major league game and to have the right kind, there’s an element of luck. It is still pretty cool.”
Tyler Stephenson drove in four runs with a pair of doubles and Colin Moran hit a three-run homer for Cincinnati. The Reds, with the worst record in the majors, won their second straight series by topping the NL Central leaders.
“All these teams in the league are good — you have to keep playing, you have to keep going,” Reds manager David Bell said. “Great day offensively. Not only the hits and the RBIs, but just grinding out at-bats, controlling the strike zone, getting guys in base. That created the opportunities.”
Tyler Naquin hit a bases-loaded triple for Cincinnati, which led 7-0 after two innings. Moran homered during a six-run eighth that made it 14-5.
Hunter Renfroe hit two solo homers for the Brewers.
Milwaukee’s first six batters reached base in the ninth, including home runs by Jace Peterson and pinch-hitter Mike Brosseau. Joel Kuhnel relieved and gave up a pair of RBI doubles while getting the final three outs.
Reds starter Vladimir Gutiérrez allowed four runs and six hits over 4 2/3 innings. The right-hander exited with a four-run lead and the bases loaded in the fifth, and Alexis Diaz (1-0) came in and struck out Luis Urías.
Adrian Houser (3-3) made it through four innings. He gave up six hits and seven runs, four of them unearned because of two infield errors. Reliever J.C. Mejia was charged with five runs in the Reds’ eighth-inning outburst.
“I thought Adrian just getting through the fourth inning was a success,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “Nothing went right for him in the first two innings.”
The Reds scored four in the first on Stephenson’s RBI double and Naquin’s bases-loaded triple off the center-field wall that came about a foot short of being a grand slam.
The Reds loaded the bases again in the second. After Houser fanned Mike Moustakas for the second out, Stephenson struck again, driving in all three in with a double to left.
Tommy Pham drove in two more runs for the Reds in the eighth with a bases-loaded single, followed by an RBI single by Moustakas to cushion the lead.
Brousseau and Peterson homered off Dauri Moreta in the ninth.
TYLER ON A TEAR
Stephenson has hit well since coming back from concussion protocol May 3. Since then he is 11 for 29 and bumped his batting average to .322. The regular catcher, he went 3 for 5 as the DH in Wednesday’s lineup.
“He’s a presence in our lineup, in our clubhouse, behind the plate,” Bell said. “He is going to need some days off here and there, but when we can keep him in the lineup he showed today how important he is.”
Reds: LHP Mike Minor (shoulder) is scheduled to make his second rehab start at Triple-A Louisville on Sunday. He could make his season debut next week. … Bell said OF Jake Fraley (knee inflammation), 1B Joey Votto (illness) and OF Nick Senzel (illness) all are getting close to rehab assignments.
Brewers: After an off day, open a weekend series with Miami. RHP Corbin Burnes (1-2, 1.86) is scheduled to get the start against RHP Pablo López (4-1, 1.00 ERA).
Reds: Open a four-game series with the Pirates Thursday. RHP Connor Overton (0-0, 2.53) is scheduled to go against RHP JT Brubaker (0-2, 5.68 ERA). The Reds took two of three against Pittsburgh at Great American Ball Park last weekend.