CINCINNATI (AP) TJ Friedl, Matt McLain and Jake Fraley hit consecutive home runs in the sixth inning and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 on Saturday for their fourth straight victory.
Cincinnati pulled within one game of first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.
Diamondbacks rookie right-hander Brandon Pfaadt (0-4), just recalled from Triple-A Reno, retired 16 in a row after Spencer Steer led off the first with a single before Friedl started the power spree.
With one out in the sixth, Friedl launched an 0-2 pitch into the visitor’s bullpen in right. McLain followed with a long home run to left, and Fraley completed the trifecta with a shot to right to give Cincinnati a 3-1 lead.
“It's a tip your cap situation,” Pfaadt said. “I thought they were good pitches. We stuck with our game plan. There's a lot of takeaways.”
The Reds last hit three consecutive homers on July 13, 2022, when Kyle Farmer, Mike Moustakas, and Stuart Fairchild went deep at Yankee Stadium.
“It is awesome going back-to-back-to-back like that," Friedl said. "Matty hit his. Jake hit his. I thought let’s see how many we can get to.”
Reds rookie left-hander Brandon Williamson (2-2) had another strong outing, allowing one run and three hits. Williamson has allowed just five runs in his last 20 innings, and has a 2.25 ERA in that span.
He enjoyed the power display by his teammates in the sixth.
“On the third home run, my jaw just dropped,” Williamson said. “It was so sick. Three bombs in a row is special."
Corbin Carroll hit his 20th home run in the ninth off Alexis Diaz, who finished for his 29th save.
Williamson, making his 12th career start, retired the first nine batters before walking Marte to begin the fourth. He didn't allow a hit until Evan Longoria's leadoff double in the fifth.
“I got ahead a lot," Williamson said. “That’s the name of the game. I don’t want to say I was oblivious to the hitters (but) I just threw my pitches and let it work.”
The Diamondbacks finally broke through against Williamson in the sixth when Jake McCarthy led off with a double and scored on Ketel Marte's single. Will Benson's diving catch in left field prevented further damage.
Elly De La Cruz scored an insurance run for Cincinnati in the eighth when he entered the game as a pinch-runner and scored from third on a groundball to make it 4-1.
Pfaadt escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the first, and the Reds didn't threaten again until the homer-fest in the sixth.
“The first inning a lot of times when you have an opportunity like that and the pitcher makes pitches to get out of it, it takes a few innings to get it going again," Reds manager David Bell said. "Once we did we got a few of them.”
The Diamondbacks are 2-6 on the trip to drop four games back of the first-place Dodgers in the NL West.
“We haven't had our type of road trip because we haven't been playing our brand of baseball,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said.
IT'S A START
Despite the three homers in the sixth, Pfaadt overall had his best outing in the major leagues, after posting a 9.82 ERA in his first six starts.
“I’m going to highlight the good things he did,” Lovullo said. “Getting out of that first inning gave him that push for the next five. He made some statements out there.”
From nearby Louisville, Kentucky, Pfaadt had a large cheering section at the ballpark. “I definitely heard them a few times,” he said.
Diamondbacks C Gabriel Moreno was scratched from the starting lineup because of discomfort in his left shoulder. Carson Kelly caught until Moreno entered the game in the eighth.
RHP Luke Weaver (2-2, 7.22) will start the series finale for the Reds. The Diamondbacks are expected to have a bullpen game, but haven't announced the opener.
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