CINCINNATI — Yasiel Puig gave his fans reason to cheer with his first home run for the Reds in Cincinnati. Now he wants a dining recommendation from them.
Puig hit a two-run homer in the first inning off the facade of the second deck in left-center field, and the Reds wasted an early lead and then rallied to beat the Atlanta Braves 7-6 Tuesday night.
Jose Peraza had his first RBIs since homering on opening day, and Tucker Barnhart homered for the Reds, who have won four of five following a four-game losing streak.
A crowd of about 50 fans, mostly teenagers, occupied seats in the right field corner and chanted “We want Puig!” before the outfielder took the field for the first inning. Many waved Puig-oriented signs, one waved a flag of Puig’s native Cuba and some wore horse headgear, a reference to his “Wild Horse” nickname.
“I was surprised to see the fans in right field cheering for me,” Puig said. “I want to thank them for supporting me and my teammates. I saw the horses, the Cuban flag. There must be a lot of Cuban people in Cincinnati. I have to meet some of them to find a good Cuban restaurant.”
Cincinnati led 3-0 in the fifth inning, fell behind 4-3 in the sixth, then scored four runs in the bottom half.
“We had a lot of good at bats,” Redsmanager David Bell said.
Peraza hit a two-run double off Kevin Gausman (1-2) for a 5-4 lead, Jessie Biddle forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk to pinch-hitter Phillip Ervin and Puig hit a sacrifice fly against Wes Parsons.
Robert Stephenson (2-0) struck out two batters with a runner on third to end the sixth.
Atlanta scored on RBI doubles by Charlie Culberson against Wandy Peralta in the seventh and Dansby Swanson off Jared Hughes in the eighth. Raisel Iglesias allowed Matt Joyce’s leadoff double in the ninth, then retired Ozzie Albies, Josh Donaldson and Freddie Freeman for his fifth save in six chances.
Cincinnati scored its most runs since routing Miami 14-0 on April 9. The Redsentered last in the major leagues in batting average at .197.
Joey Votto walked three times and singled in his first game after missing two games due to back tightness.
Swanson also tripled for the Braves.
Sonny Gray tied his season high with nine strikeouts but tired in the middle innings. He allowed four runs - three earned - and six hits in 5 1/3 innings as his ERA rose from 2.79 to 3.28. He is 0-3 in five starts in his first season since the Reds acquired him from the New York Yankees.
“He didn’t make many mistakes,” Freeman said. “It’s hard to be perfect, but he was pretty much perfect until the sixth.”
Gausman (1-2) gave up six runs — five earned — and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.