Jesse Winker homers in 10th inning, Cincinnati Reds end losing streak

After Jesse Winker watched his two-run homer clear the left-field fence to open the 10th inning Monday, he turned his head toward the dugout as he neared second base and gestured to his teammates with his left hand. 

He pumped his left arm after slapping hands with third-base coach J.R. House, shouting something to his coach as he ran past him, then celebrated with his teammates once he returned to the dugout. 

It's way too early to describe something as a season-defining game. The Cincinnati Reds are still in the first month of the season. But it felt like one of those games that the Reds couldn't afford to lose. 

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Winker wouldn't let them lose. Not again. He broke the hex, snapping a seven-game losing streak, with his go-ahead homer off Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, lifting the Reds to a 5-3 win at Dodger Stadium. 

"Any time you can do anything to help a team get a win, that’s what you come to the park every day for," Winker said. "It was a dogfight. I was just happy that ball got up and got out."

Apr 26, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jesse Winker (33) is greeted at the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the tenth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds were in control for most of the game Monday. Tyler Mahle, who went to high school 30 minutes away from Dodger Stadium, allowed one across five innings. The offense jumped to a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning. Lucas Sims struck out the first four batters he faced out of the bullpen. 

Then the momentum disappeared when struggling reliever Amir Garrett surrendered a game-tying, two-run homer to Corey Seager with two outs in the seventh inning. It woke up the crowd of 15,199. 

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