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Yelich homers as Brewers beat Reds 9-4

Milwaukee Brewers' Christian Yelich runs the bases after he hits a solo home run during a...
Milwaukee Brewers' Christian Yelich runs the bases after he hits a solo home run during a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Sunday, May 23, 2021. The Brewers won 9-4. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)(Aaron Doster | AP)
Updated: May. 23, 2021 at 11:25 PM CDT
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CINCINNATI (AP) — Christian Yelich hit his first homer of the season and Kolten Wong had three hits, helping the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-4 on Sunday.

Yelich, who has been hampered by back trouble for much of the season, hit a solo drive in the ninth against Brad Brach. The 2018 NL MVP finished with two hits and two RBIs.

“I’m still trying to find it,” Yelich said. “But I hope it’s a step in the right direction. Will have to wait and see.”

Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Yelich just needs to get consistent at-bats.

“That’s something that he hasn’t had,” he said. “He’s seeing the ball well since he’s been back. Positive signs for sure.”

Wong, who returned to the lineup after he was hit on the right elbow by a pitch in the seventh inning on Friday, hit a two-run triple in the sixth. He grounded to second in the eighth, falling a home run shy of the Brewers’ first cycle since Yelich in 2018, also against the Reds.

“You could tell in my last at-bat I was trying for it,” Wong said. “I’ve never had (a cycle), so why not see what happens?”

Jesse Winker hit a solo homer in the third for Cincinnati, and Nick Castellanos connected for a two-run shot in the ninth.

The Reds were hoping for a return to form for Luis Castillo, who was coming off an 11-strikeout outing on Tuesday. But he struggled during a 32-pitch first inning, allowing three hits and two walks, including one with the bases loaded. Willy Adames’ two-run single put the Brewers ahead 3-0.

Avisaíl García’s seventh homer, a two-run shot in the third, extended Milwaukee’s lead to five. It was the eighth home run allowed this season by Castillo (1-7), who has a 7.61 ERA.

“It was another bad day,” Castillo said. “What can I say? Every bad moment we know it is going to end eventually. Being frustrated all the time isn’t good for me. We are continuing the process. We will get there.”

Brewers starter Freddy Peralta allowed two runs and three hits in 4 2/3 innings. Brad Boxberger (1-1) got the win.

Milwaukee took two of three in the weekend set.

“To lose the opener and come back and win two it’s huge,” Yelich said. “In baseball your ups and downs are magnified. You don’t need to panic. Just stay the course.”

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