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Naquin’s 3-run homer in 9th gives Reds 10-7 win over Twins

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds didn’t look drained to manager David Bell, despite this recent slide.

The boss was right, because the Reds had plenty of energy left for a late surge against Minnesota after the Twins took a game of back-and-forth rallies the night before.

Tyler Naquin went 4 for 4 with a three-run homer that broke a ninth-inning tie right after the ragged Cincinnati bullpen lost a five-run lead, and the Reds beat the Twins 10-7 to stop their five-game losing streak on Tuesday afternoon.

Amir Garrett got his fourth save in six chances with a scoreless ninth after fellow relievers Art Warren, Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone stumbled through a five-run eighth for Minnesota, which had its season-long five-game winning streak end.

“We keep pulling for each other, keep showing up, keep playing hard,” said Naquin, who joined the Reds in February on a minor league contract.

Max Kepler hit a two-run homer, Trevor Larnach added a solo shot and Alex Kirilloff had the tying two-run double off Antone (2-0), but the right-hander in his first game back from the injured list recovered to record the last two outs of the inning.

Tucker Barnhart homered and had three RBIs and Jesse Winker hit a two-run double for the Reds, whose relief ERA (5.70) is the worst in the major leagues. Injuries have made an impact on that, to be sure, and Bell did not sound bothered by the way he’s seen his relievers throw the ball lately.

“There’s no question we’re just going to keep getting better. There’s been signs along the way,” he said. “I love the way the guys are approaching it.”

After grinding through a 12-inning victory on Monday night that lasted 5 hours, 14 minutes, the longest in MLB this year, the Twins experienced some bullpen problems of their own.

Alex Colomé allowed three runs in the eighth, though third baseman Miguel Sanó’s second fielding error of the game made two of them unearned.

Then Hansel Robles (3-4), who has been one of the team’s steadiest relief options, put himself in trouble with a one-out double by Nick Castellanos and by hitting Tyler Stephenson with a pitch before Naquin’s 12th homer of the season gave the Reds a reason to smile on the way home.

“What a season he’s having,” Bell said. “He’s really settling in, and his talent is coming out.”

Wade Miley gave the Reds another strong start, too, with two runs allowed on a homer by Ryan Jeffers over seven otherwise-easy innings. Jeffers was the catcher for all 12 innings of the marathon game on Monday and returned to his crouch behind the plate again on Tuesday, as the Twins tried to shake off the bad news of star center fielder Byron Buxton’s broken left hand.

“I’ll give credit to Miley. He’s been throwing the ball very well. He was just very sharp. He’s a veteran pitcher who can do a lot of tricky things,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.

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