Michael "Babe" Lorenzen capped the Reds eight-run seventh with a long grand slam.
Lorenzen's third home run of the week, his second as a pinch hitter, propelled the Reds to a 12-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
In his last last five at bats, Lorenzen has singled, walked and homered three times. Lorenzen now has three pinch hit home runs for his career. Gary Peters pitched from 1959-1972. Peters hit four pinch hit home runs while making 359 pitching appearances.
The blast helped the Reds over come the daily home run by Eric Thames.
It was his fourth home run against the Reds this season after he belted 10 against them in 2017.
The Reds missed a chance to tie the game in the fourth inning. Joey Votto singled to left. National League's leading hitter Scooter Gennett shot a ground single to right. Votto aggressively tried for third but was thrown out by Hernan Perez. Gennett went to second where he was stranded.
"It had a feeling of some games we've been through where we put runners out there and couldn't get over the hump," Jim Riggleman said.
Mahle escaped a fifth inning jam.
Opposing pitcher Jhoulys Chacin bounced a single through the left side with one out. Brad Miller doubled off the wall in left center, Chacin stopped at third. The Reds showed discretion was the better part of valor by walking Thames intentionally. Mahle then struck out Jesus Aguilar, who has 19 home runs on his resume, swinging and Travis Shaw looking. Those strikeouts gave him 12 for the first five innings.
The Reds got one back in the bottom of the inning.
Adam Duvall walked. Curt Casali followed with another walk on a full count pitch. Mahle was sent up to bunt, which he did. Chacin gloved the ball with plenty of time but both corner fielders Shaw and Aguilar charged and no on covered first base. Mahle's bunt single loaded the bases with no outs.
A rare error by Suarez opened the gate for Milwaukee in the sixth. Suarez gloved the ball but couldn't get the ball out cleanly and his throw was too late to get Perez. Brad Miller doubled to score Perez and reached third on the throw home. Keon Broxton bounced to a drawn in Jose Peraza at short for the first out. Erik Kratz grounded ball to Gennett's left. Gennett dived to pick up the ball and threw Kratz out as Miller scored. Gennett's error on Chacin's ground ball, signaled the end for Mahle. Kyle Crockett relieved him and struck out Miller.
"I thought is was the best pitching performance of the year," Riggleman said of Mahle's performance. "It wasn't a quality start which is ridiculous. That was impressive. He was just really good and really pitched. He is a fine composed young pitcher."
Milwaukee's go-ahead runs were unearned. Absent Suarez' error, Mahle would have likely finished six innings with just one run scoring but he was disappointed the runs scored and he didn't pick up his defense.
"I made a lot of good pitches throughout the game. Then we scored one to tie it but when we needed me to go out and have a shutout inning, I made some bad pitches," Mahle said. "That's going to haunt me the rest of the day. It is hard to be mad about that because we won and it was such a great game. When the team really needed me to throw a zero, I didn't."
Mahle pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs but only one earned. He gave up five hits and three walks with one intentional.
The Reds went to work against Milwaukee reliever Taylor Williams. Gennett and Suarez singled to greet Williams. Jesse Winker walked to load the bases. Adam Duvall flied out to shallow right leaving the bases loaded. Tucker Barnhart was sent up to bat for Casali. Barnhart singled to score Gennett with Suarez stopping at third. Alex Blandino batted for Crockett. Williams struck out Blandino. Schebler grounded out to Aguilar to end the inning.
David Hernandez pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
The Reds put the first two batters on base for the fourth straight inning when Peraza singled and Votto walked. Mike Zagursky, who pitched for Pittsburgh and the Yankees in 2013, walked Votto, in his first big league game since returning from Japan. Gennett doubled over Thames head in left to tie the game. Winker bounced a single to left to give the Reds the lead, leaving the bases loaded with no outs. Jacob Barnes replaced Zagursky. Duvall kept the line moving with a two-run single off Barnes. Babe, excuse me, Michael Lorenzen launched the second grand slam by a Reds pitcher in a week. The Reds went down in order after that, having scored eight runs before the first batter was retired.
"I thought Tucker's at bat was huge," Riggleman said. "Votto's walk, Scooter whatever inning that was. There were a lot of great at bats. Duvall had a big one but Lorenzen's was pretty special."
Riggleman could have had Billy Hamilton pinch hit because he was going in for defense any way but elected him to run for Winker who was on third base instead, using Lorenzen to pinch hit.
Lorenzen takes pride in being a pure baseball player, not just a pitcher. He had a plan to get at least one more insurance run home.
"They had the infield in so I was looking for something elevated. As I got comfortable in the box they moved back a little. I was looking for something elevated so I could hit a sac fly. They threw me a slider down that I was able to take because it wasn't up. He threw me a fastball that I was able to hit," Lorenzen said. "It was a surreal feeling for sure. I've said it before. I love this game and every thing about it. I'm happy that Jim had faith in me. That's what I'm trying to do and build trust. I want to do more and more. When he puts me in, I want him to have confidence that I can do the job. My approach is easy and simple. Make sure I hit the ball in the zone."
Catcher Erik Kratz mopped up on the mound for the Brewers. It was his third appearance as a pitcher. He pitched for Pittsburgh and Houston in 2016. Kratz gave up two runs, one earned in the ninth. He was the second catcher to make a pitching appearance against the Reds this month. Chris Gimenez pitched for the Chicago Cubs against the Reds.
Dylan Floro struck out the side in the ninth, including Thames as the last out to bring the Reds' total to 18. It is the Reds' record for a nine-inning game. Reds' pitchers have struck out 17 batters in a nine inning game four times.
He (Mahle) was doing a good job of keeping the ball out of the zone," Kratz said. "He was getting guy to chase a little more than we normally do. To righties, it was pretty much a two-pitch mix of a live heater and breaking ball that was out of the zone. He had it going, but we had him beat. He had a lot of strikeouts, but we had the game 3-1 when he came out. It was a testament that we were ahead there."