Reds score three in the ninth to earn split with Twins on Tuesday

MINNEAPOLIS – When Tyler Naquin launched a go-ahead, three-run homer in the ninth inning Tuesday, the Target Field crowd of 19,187 went silent and the 30-some people in the Cincinnati Reds dugout erupted. 

It wasn't just an important homer in the Reds' 10-7 victory over the Minnesota Twins. It bailed out the bullpen from another meltdown and rescued the Reds at the end of their nine-game road trip. 

After Wade Miley pitched seven solid innings, the Reds' bullpen coughed up a five-run lead in the eighth. They had already lost five consecutive games and here was more bad news.

Then Naquin, who reached base in all five of his plate appearances, blasted a 420-foot homer to the opposite field. 

"It’s picking up the boys," Miley said. "That’s what we do. There are going to be games that happen like that. We’ve done it, really, this whole trip. It’s huge. Right then and there, we knew we needed to answer back."

More:Reds chat with Bobby Nightengale: Get your questions answered at noon on Wednesday

Jun 22, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tyler Naquin (12) and  outfielder Nick Castellanos (2) score against the Minnesota Twins in the ninth inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds finished their nine-game road trip with a 4-5 record. The record itself doesn’t capture all the emotions that went into the past nine days.

They swept Milwaukee in a three-game series, moving within two games of first place in the division. They went on a five-game losing streak, a skid that started with a gut punch of a loss to the San Diego Padres when they rallied from a two-run deficit in the ninth inning only to lose on a walk-off homer. There was the loss in the five-hour, 14-minute marathon in 12 innings Monday despite holding a two-run lead in the 10th inning. 

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