CINCINNATI — Jesse Winker whiffed in his first major league moment. His second time at the plate produced a game-winning hit.
Winker doubled home the go-ahead runs with his first major league hit, and the Cincinnati Reds overcame two more homers by Eric Thames for a 7-5 victory on Saturday, ending the Milwaukee Brewers’ four-game winning streak.
The Reds also lost another starter. Left-hander Brandon Finnegan came out of the game after the first inning because of shoulder soreness. The Reds already have three starters on the disabled list.
“He felt it a little bit after his last start, but he did everything between starts and he seemed fine,” manager Bryan Price said. “Then it popped back up. He won’t make his next start. It’s not good right now.”
Winker helped the Reds pull it out. He was called up on Friday night and struck out as a pinch hitter with his parents and two brothers in the stands. When he came up in the sixth inning on Saturday, he dumped a hit into left field for a 6-4 lead.
“In my first at-bat yesterday, I took the time to look around and soak up the atmosphere,” said Winker, 23. “I sort of knew where my parents were sitting and I found my mom, and we locked eyes. It was surreal. You only get one first time.
“Today it was more like whenever I get called upon, I’ll be ready to go to work. I didn’t hit the ball hard, but I got the job done.”
Winker’s hit off Carlos Torres (0-1) had sidespin and took a weird bounce after landing.
“Winker’s ball is a flair,” manager Craig Counsell said. “That’s the one that really hurts you, two runs on a flair.”
Scott Schebler homered for Cincinnati, and Scooter Gennett drove in a pair with a single and a double.
Raisel Iglesias (1-0) allowed one run in two innings as manager Bryan Price used five relievers after Finnegan’s early departure. Michael Lorenzen walked a batter in the ninth while getting his first career save.
Thames hit a pair of solo homers. He has homered in each of the last three games, with four in all, and is 12 for 29 during an eight-game hitting streak. Hernan Perez had a two-run double and a solo homer as part of a three-hit game.
Schebler homered on the 11th pitch of his at-bat against starter Zach Davies, who gave up three runs in five innings. Zack Cozart’s RBI triple extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
Brewers: RH Junior Garza worked out on a treadmill on Saturday, part of his recovery from a strained right calf. “Right now everything is positive,” Counsell said. “I don’t have any update on when he’ll be back.”
Reds: C Devin Mesoraco is scheduled to catch back-to-back nine-inning games next week as part of his rehab assignment as he continues his recovery from hip surgery last season. He’ll then be evaluated and could be activated off the DL.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Counsell, on watching the 2013 movie “42” about Jackie Robinson with his son’s Little League team: “I was kind of blown away by how captivated the kids were with the story. It really made an impact on me.”
Milwaukee’s four-game winning streak matched its longest last season. The Brewers’ last winning streak of more than four games came in 2015, when they won six in a row from Aug. 30-September 5.
Perez’s homer landed on the top of the wall in left-center, went over and deflected back. It was originally ruled a double before the call was corrected by replay.
Davies opened last season 0-3 with an 8.78 ERA before settling in. He’s 0-2 in three starts with a 4.32 ERA this season.
“The first couple starts were kind of tough,” Davies said. “It’s a grind right now.”
Brewers: RH Wily Peralta (2-0) is holding opponents to a .216 average and hasn’t allowed a homer in two starts. He’s 5-6 career against the Reds in 14 starts.
Reds: RH Sal Romano will make his major league debut, filling in for the injured Rookie Davis. Romano, 23, becomes the third Reds starter to make his major league debut this season, joining Davis and LH Amir Garrett.