Cincinnati — Christian Yelich hit for a record-tying third cycle — all of them against Cincinnati — but the Milwaukee Brewers’ rally fell short in the ninth inning in a 14-11 loss to the Reds on Wednesday.
Tyler Stephenson drove in four runs with a pair of doubles and Colin Moran hit a three-run homer for Cincinnati. The Reds, with the worst record in the majors, won their second straight series by topping the NL Central leaders.
Yelich became the sixth player in major league history to hit at least one home run, triple, double and a single in the same game three times. He joined Trea Turner, Adrián Beltré, Babe Herman, Bob Meusel and John Reilly in accomplishing the feat.
Yelich doubled in the first, hit a three-run homer in the third, singled in the fifth and tripled during a six-run ninth.
Hunter Renfroe hits two solo homers for the Brewers.
Tyler Naquin hit a bases-loaded triple for Cincinnati, which led 7-0 after two innings. Moran homered during a six-run eighth that made it 14-5.
Milwaukee’s first six batters reached base in the ninth, including home runs by Jace Peterson and pinch-hitter Mike Brosseau. Joel Kuhnel relieved and gave up a pair of RBI doubles while getting the final three outs.
Reds starter Vladimir Gutierrez allowed four runs and six hits over 4 2/3 innings. The right-hander exited with a four-run lead and the bases loaded in the fifth, and Alexis Diaz (1-0) came in and struck out Luis Urías.
Adrian Houser (3-3) made it through four innings. He gave up six hits and seven runs, four of them unearned because of two infield errors. Reliever JC Mejia was charged with five runs in the Reds’ eighth-inning outburst.
The Reds scored four in the first on Stephenson’s RBI double and Naquin’s bases-loaded triple off the center-field wall that came about a foot short of being a grand slam.
The Reds loaded the bases again in the second. After Houser fanned Mike Moustakas for the second out, Stephenson struck again, driving in all three in with a double to left.
Tommy Pham drove in two more runs for the Reds in the eighth with a bases-loaded single, followed by an RBI single by Moustakas to cushion the lead.
Brousseau and Peterson homered off Dauri Moreta in the ninth.
Guardians hit with COVID-19 outbreak
The Cleveland Guardians are dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that has sidelined manager Terry Francona and several of the team’s coaches, leading to the postponement of Wednesday’s game against the Chicago White Sox.
Shortly after Francona’s positive test became known, Major League Baseball said there were “multiple positive COVID-19 tests” in Cleveland’s organization and called off Wednesday’s series finale to allow for more testing and contact tracing.
It’s the first coronavirus-related postponement since the season started on April 7.
Guardians bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who was slotted to fill in for Francona, also tested positive, and Cleveland has “multiple coaches and other team support staff members” infected with the virus, according to team spokesman Bart Swain.
At this point, it’s unclear who will manage the Guardians when they open a three-game series in Minnesota on Friday. It’s likely the team will bring up several minor league coaches and field coordinators for the series.
First-base coach Sandy Alomar could be an option to manage. He took over those duties during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season after Francona was forced to step away after just 14 games due to a health issue.
The Guardians are off Thursday. The team did set its rotation for the Twins series, with Aaron Civale starting on Friday, followed by Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie. Civale was scheduled to start Wednesday.
Francona, who has dealt with serious health problems the past two seasons, tested positive for the virus a few hours before the scheduled first pitch. The team said the 63-year-old Francona currently is not showing any symptoms.
Cleveland’s team recently had a coronavirus outbreak, with infielders Owen Miller, Yu Chang and pitchers Cal Quantrill and Anthony Castro all being placed on the COVID-19 injury list. All have returned except Chang, who is in the minors.
Also, the team’s TV broadcast crew had several members test positive during the team’s West Coast trip.
Francona had been in good health this season following two challenging years. In 2020, he was hospitalized with gastrointestinal issues. Last year, Francona struggled after undergoing offseason surgery on his foot and left the team in July.
Francona is in his 10th season with Cleveland. He won two World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox.