DETROIT (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds still aren’t clicking on all cylinders an offense, but their latest win was a step in the right direction.
Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce ended an 18-inning scoreless streak with back-to-back homers in the fifth inning and Frazier homered again in the seventh to help the Reds beat the Detroit Tigers 5-2 on Tuesday night.
Frazier’s second homer was impressive, landing 425 feet away in the Reds’ center-field bullpen.
“I just squared them up,” Frazier said. “Not to be cocky about it, but I know I can hit a ball out of any park.”
The Reds had totaled only four runs in a three-game losing streak, and didn’t get on the board until the fifth against Detroit, but Michael Lorenzen and the Reds’ bullpen made the homers stand up.
Lorenzen (2-2) allowed two runs — one earned — and six hits with three walks in six innings, only striking out one.
“He had some notable hitters in that lineup, but he made the pitches he had to make,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “I thought he used his curveball very well and managed his fastball around the zone.”
Three relievers finished, with Aroldis Chapman striking out the side in the ninth — getting James McCann to end it on a 103-mph fastball — for his 14th save.
“There aren’t a lot of guys out there who can throw 103,” said McCann. “You really don’t get much chance to practice hitting it.”
Kyle Ryan (1-1) took his first major-league loss, giving up four runs in 6 1/3 innings. Ryan only surrendered five hits, but three were homers.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the first. Anthony Gose led off with a bloop double to left, took third on Ian Kinsler’s long fly to right-center and scored when Miguel Cabrera singled through the hole vacated by Cincinnati’s shifted second baseman, Brandon Phillips.
For the second day in a row, the Reds didn’t have any early offensive success. After being shut out by Anibal Sanchez on Monday, Cincinnati only managed one hit in the first four innings against Ryan.
Frazier and Jay Bruce, though, led off the fifth with back-to-back homers.
Detroit immediately tied the score on a strange play in the bottom of the inning. The Tigers had loaded the bases with two out on a single, an error by left fielder Ivan De Jesus Jr. and an intentional walk to Cabrera. Yoenis Cespedes hit a hard grounder off Lorenzen’s leg, allowing James McCann to score, but Joey Votto scooped up the loose ball and threw Gose out at the plate.
The Tigers challenged the call, but it stood after a delay of 3:38, a decision that frustrated Ausmus.
“I definitely think that instant replay has regressed this season,” he said. “I thought for the most part, they changed calls in order to get the play right, and they did that on a regular basis.
“I’m not seeing that this year.”
An MLB spokesman said that the replay official wasn’t able to tell if Brayan Pena’s tag was on time or not.
“After viewing all relevant angles, the replay official felt that he could not definitively determine that the runner touched home prior to being tagged,” Mike Teevan said in an email to the Associated Press.
Frazier led off the seventh with a homer, this time a 425-foot shot that landed in the Cincinnati bullpen in center. Billy Hamilton made it 4-2 later in the inning with a bloop single that scored Bruce.
“Billy coming up and getting that two-out hit — that’s big for us,” Price said. “For whatever reason, when he gets up there with runners in scoring position, he gets them in.”
Cincinnati added a run in the ninth on a throwing error by Jose Iglesias.
Reds: RHP Jon Moscot went on the 15-day disabled list with a dislocated left shoulder while the team optioned OF Brennan Boesch to Triple-A Louisville. To reinforce a bullpen depleted by Moscot’s seven-pitch start Monday, they brought up two pitchers from Louisville — righties Donovan Hand and Carlos Contreras.
Tigers: DH Victor Martinez (knee) went 1 for 4 with an RBI double for Triple-A Toledo, and is now hitting .333 in three games of a rehab stint. Martinez, who underwent surgery for a torn meniscus this spring, was hitting .216 with minimal power when he went on the disabled list May 19.