CINCINNATI — Reds rookie Aristides Aquino homered in his first three at-bats , keeping up his prodigious power display and leading Cincinnati over the Chicago Cubs 10-1 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 with nothing close to the plate, then struck out in his final at-bat.
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, on Sept. 4, 2017, for Arizona. Scooter Gennett homered four times for the Reds at Great American Ball Park on June 6, 2017.
Fans were on their feet and booed as Alec Mills walked in the sixth, throwing a breaking ball on a 3-0 count. Mills fanned Aquino on a low breaking ball to end the seventh.
Aquino has homered in four straight games, one shy of the team mark. The only other Reds rookie to homer in four straight was Eric Davis in 1984 — they share the same No. 44 and have a similar swing.
Aquino was called up to play right field when the Reds recently dealt fan favorite Yasiel Puig to the Indians. He spent six years at rookie or Single-A ball while struggling to hit, but a change that opened his stance helped him become an International League All-Star in line for his promotion.
The Reds hit six home runs overall. Eugenio Suarez hit his 32nd and Nick Senzel and Kyle Farmer also connected.
Sonny Gray (6-6) allowed two hits in six innings and singled home a pair of runs as the Reds piled up 18 hits.
Hendricks suffered his worst loss since returning from a sore shoulder on July 2. Hendricks gave up seven runs and a season-high 12 hits in only 2 2/3 innings, his shortest since he went the same distance against the Dodgers on June 27 last season.
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.
Royals 7, Tigers 0
DETROIT — Kansas City’s Mike Montgomery struck out a career-high 12 in seven innings.
Jorge Soler homered and scored twice for the Royals, who had lost six of seven.
The Tigers were trying to win three straight games for the first time since May 28-31, against the Orioles and Braves.
Montgomery (2-5) picked up his first win of the year as a starter, allowing four singles without walking a batter. He struck out 10 Royals for Seattle on June 13, 2015.
Spencer Turnbull (3-10) pitched six innings, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk.
Neither team had a baserunner until Whit Merrifield singled to start the fourth. Turnbull retired the next two batters before Jorge Soler homered off the brick wall behind the stands in right-center. It was Soler’s second homer in as many games and 33rd of the season.
Brandon Dixon broke up Montgomery’s perfect game with a leadoff single in the fifth, but was caught stealing.
The top three in Detroit’s order — Victor Reyes, Niko Goodrum and Miguel Cabrera — went 0-6 with six strikeouts the first two times through the order.
The Royals made it 4-0 off Gregory Soto in the seventh. With two out, Soto misplayed a grounder by Meibrys Viloria. He recovered with time to throw out the bulky Viloria, but threw the ball into right field, allowing Soler and Bubba Starling to score.
The inning could have gotten, but right-fielder Travis Demeritte made a running catch of a drive to deep right-center by Humberto Arteaga and got Soto out of the inning.
Hunter Dozier made it 5-0 with an RBI triple in the eighth, and Merrifield added a two-run double in the ninth.
Negro League tribute
The Royals wore the uniforms of the Kansas City Monarchs, while the Tigers were dressed as the Detroit Stars as part of Detroit’s annual Negro League weekend.
Royals: SS Adalberto Mondesi (shoulder) is taking grounders and throwing, but has not begun to swing a bat. He’s been out since injuring his shoulder on July 17.
Tigers: LF Christin Stewart (concussion) was recalled from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo after his symptoms returned. He was able to do a cardio workout on Saturday. … CF JaCoby Jones missed his second straight game after being hit in the wrist on Thursday.
The teams finish their four-game series on Sunday with Detroit’s Daniel Norris (3-9, 4.76) facing Jakob Junis (7-10, 4.88).
Angels 12, Red Sox 4
BOSTON — Mike Trout hit the first home run of his career at Fenway Park and the Los Angeles Angels snapped an eight-game losing streak with a rout of Boston.
Justin Upton added a three-run homer in the first inning.
With his 428-foot drive over the Green Monster in the sixth inning, Trout has now homered in every American League ballpark. He had played 21 games in Boston without connecting.
Trout was replaced in the seventh, having been hit in his shoulder by a pitcher earlier in the game.
The Angels added seven runs in a sloppy seventh inning by Boston in which it issued two walks, hit two batters and gave up four singles. The Red Sox also had an error and a passed ball.
Taylor Cole (2-3) pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to pick up the win.
Rick Porcello (10-9) took the loss, giving up both home runs. He lasted five innings, allowing five earned runs off five hits, walking one and striking out four.