Scooter Gennett emptied a bubblegum bucket full of red Powerade on Adam Duvall. Gennett didn’t douse him on the head, a tradition after a walk-off victory, but got him on the pants.
That was a small price to pay for Duvall, whose bases-loaded single in the 11th inning scored Billy Hamilton and gave the Reds a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday at Great American Ball Park.
The Reds (40-54) ended a five-game losing streak, winning for the first time since the All-Star break.
“That was nice,” Duvall said. “It didn’t come easy. Sometimes you want it like that more than you want an easy win. We grinded for it. We earned it. We’ve got to look forward to tomorrow.”
Hamilton started the winning rally with a one-out single. Zack Cozart hit a ground-rule double to center. Hamilton would have scored on the hit if the ball hadn’t bounced into the stands.
The Diamondbacks intentionally walked Joey Votto, bringing Duvall to the plate. Duvall struck out to end the ninth inning with Cozart on second but made the most of his second chance.
“I was just looking to get something that I could drive to the outfield,” Duvall said. “With Billy’s speed, you don’t have to hit it that deep. It wasn’t an ideal pitch, but I put a good swing on it. I got it far enough out there that he could score.”
The Reds lost the five previous games to the Washington Nationals and Diamondbacks by a combined margin of 46-14.
“The game is such an emotional roller coaster,” manager Bryan Price said. “You’ve got to fight through it. There are no free passes. You know it’s going to turn. It’s inevitable it’s going to turn. However, when you’re in it, it’s a challenge. You love to come to the ballpark when you’re winning and everything’s going great. It’s tougher when you’re losing — not to come to the ballpark but to anticipate victory. That’s what we have to keep, to anticipate winning the ballgame.”
The Reds began the day 15 games under .500, their worst record of the season, and a season-high 11½ games out of first place in the National League Central Division.
Hamilton got the Reds on the board in the first inning. He singled and stole second before scoring on a single by Cozart.
The game was tied 1-1 in the third when Cozart hit a solo home run, his 11th of the season. The Reds pushed their lead to 3-1 in the fourth. An RBI single by Tucker Barnhart scored Scooter Gennett.
Tim Adleman pitched well for four innings and then ran into trouble in the fifth. David Peralta homered. Then a double by Jake Lamb scored A.J. Pollock, tying the game at 3-3.
Still Adleman delivered the type of start the Reds needed. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits in six innings. He struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter.
Adleman lasted one more inning than Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke (11-4, 2.97), who allowed three earned runs on eight hits in five innings. Greinke pitched seven scoreless innings in a 6-3 victory against the Reds on July 7 in Phoenix.
Reds relievers Wandy Peralta, Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen combined to shut down the Diamondbacks in the final five innings.
NOTES: The Reds activated catcher Devin Mesoraco from the disabled list before the game. He pinch hit in the sixth inning and singled. … Hamilton was thrown out stealing second base for the first time since May 30. He stole his Major League-best 40th base in the second inning. … J.D. Martinez, who the Diamondbacks acquired in a trade with the Tigers on Tuesday, left the game with a contusion on his left hand after being hit by a pitch.