Akil Baddoo also went deep for Detroit, which salvaged the finale of the three-game series. Kerry Carpenter and Spencer Torkelson each drove in a run.
Olson (4-7) permitted one run and two hits. The rookie right-hander struck out seven and walked four.
Olson has yielded three runs in 19 2/3 innings in his three September starts.
“He's always got good stuff,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “He's got some of the best stuff on our team. Using it the right way and disrupting timing is something that's he's learning how to do.”
Olson was generally pleased with his outing, but he was disappointed with the walk total.
“Four walks, that's pretty much a whole inning of pitches,” he said. “Other than that, I thought it was really good.”
Jake Fraley hit a leadoff single in the sixth for Cincinnati's first hit of the game. Olson carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his previous start.
Spencer Steer and TJ Friedl homered for the Reds, who had won three straight.
Cincinnati (76-72) finished with five hits, hurting its pursuit of an NL wild card.
“On the road if you get two wins, that’s a good thing,” said Reds manager David Bell, who turned 51 on Thursday. “Today, it got away from us. Probably a closer game than the final score. In the end, it doesn’t matter, we lost. But a good road trip, good series and we get to keep playing fun, meaningful games.”
The Tigers jumped in front on Carpenter's two-out RBI single off opener Derek Law (4-6) in the first.
Detroit added two more runs in the fourth. With Tyler Nevin aboard after a leadoff single against Ben Lively, Baddoo hit a liner over the right-field wall for his 10th homer.
Vierling's eighth-inning grand slam came against former Tigers pitcher Buck Farmer. It was his ninth homer of the season.
“Luckily, it came at a good time,” Vierling said of his first career grand slam. “Kind of put the game away at that point.”
Cincinnati continues its road trip against the New York Mets this weekend.
“A lot of quiet mouths (in the clubhouse) right now and that’s what we need,” Lively said. “It’s going to get us fired up going to New York.”
The Reds placed right-hander Tejay Antone on the 15-day injured list due to right elbow discomfort. He returned to Cincinnati for further examination.
“Hopefully, we’ll have him back in a couple of weeks,” Bell said. “At this point in the year, even if he gets back for a couple of games, he can make a big difference for us.”
Lively was activated from the COVID-19 IL. Right-hander Carson Spiers was promoted from Double-A Chattanooga, and right-hander Connor Phillips was returned to Triple-A Louisville.
CASEY ON THE MOUND
Tigers right-hander Casey Mize threw another bullpen session on Wednesday. Mize, the top pick in the 2018 amateur draft, underwent Tommy John surgery last June. The Tigers are optimistic he’ll rejoin the starting staff at the beginning of next season.
“We’re thrilled the way his year went - what he’s been able to re-establish, delivery-wise, health-wise and recovery-wise,” Hinch said.
Reds: RHP Hunter Greene (3-6, 4.75 ERA) will start the opener of a three-game road series against the New York Mets on Friday.
Tigers: LHP Tarik Skubal (5-3, 3.47 ERA) will start the opener of a 10-game West Coast trip against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.
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