Monday's Reds-Brewers game was most notable for the profane tirade that preceded it, courtesy of Cincinnati manager Bryan Price. Tuesday's matchup between the same two teams kept the focus on the action in Miller Park, which featured a major league record-tying three grand slams, two of them by the Reds, who won the seven-homer slugfest, 16-10.
The first slam, off the bat of Jay Bruce, came in the third inning and broke open a scoreless game. Brewers starter Mike Fiers had recorded two quick outs, but a single by Joey Votto, a walk by Todd Frazier and a throwing error by Milwaukee third baseman Jason Rogers loaded the bases. On a 1-1 count, Fiers left a 91 mph fastball over the plate, and Bruce didn't miss it. His towering shot to right-center was his third homer of the year and his fourth career grand slam.
The Brewers rallied for four runs in the bottom of the third against Jason Marquis, keyed by Martin Maldonado's two-run shot, but the Reds were right back at it against Fiers in the top of the fourth. Brayan Pena and Zack Cozart hit back-to-back singles to start the frame, but Marquis bunted into a force play with Pena out at third. Cozart stole third, Billy Hamilton popped out, Votto walked to load the bases and then Todd Frazier crushed a middling 85 mph cutter that was over the middle of the plate, sending a mirror image of Bruce's shot to left-center. It was Frazier's fourth homer of the year and his first major league grand slam.
Likewise, the pair of grand slams were the first two allowed by Fiers in the majors; it was probably of little consolation that the four runs off the first one were all unearned.
The Reds stretched their lead to 11-4 with a three-run fifth inning punctuated by Cozart's two-run homer off Tyler Thornburg, and after Milwaukee added a run in the fifth, Cincinnati countered with another pair, one of which came via a solo homer by Votto, his league-leading sixth of the season.
Down 13-5, the Brewers refused to roll over. Facing reliever J.J. Hoover, Logan Schafer and Martin Maldonado drew back-to-back one-out walks, pinch-hitter Aramis Ramirez followed with an RBI single and a walk by Jean Segura loaded the bases. Price went to his bullpen, calling upon ground-baller Burke Badenhop, who allowed just one homer in 70 2/3 innings last year, but had already served up one this season. Light-hitting second baseman Elian Herrera, who had hit an RBI double earlier in the game but previously owned just one major league homer in 365 plate appearances including his first three of the night, connected for a slam into the rightfield corner. Go figure.
Herrera's homer cut the score to 13-10. The Reds answered with a three-run seventh, including a solo homer by Cozart off Neal Cotts, Cozart's second shot of the game and fourth of the year. Cincinnati had a chance at a third slam when it loaded the bases via a Devin Mesoraco walk, a Hamilton single and a Frazier walk, but Brandon Phillips merely hit a two-run single to cap the scoring at 16-10.
Via Baseball Almanac, it was the fourth major league game to feature three grand slams. The three others:
The Reds, who had lost four straight and seven out of eight leading up to Price’s tirade, improved to a level 7-7, while the the slumping Brewers fell to 2-12, their worst start in franchise history.