Reds rookie Aquino homers in first 3 at-bats to top Cubs

CINCINNATI — Reds outfielder Aristides Aquino homered in his first three at-bats against the Cubs on Saturday night, setting a Cincinnati record for a rookie.

Aquino was an International League All-Star called up to play right field when Yasiel Puig was traded to the Indians. He hit three solo shots — the first two off Kyle Hendricks — for seven homers in his first 10 games with Cincinnati, a club record since 1900.

He’s homered in four straight games, two shy of the club mark.

Aquino signed with the Reds as an undrafted free agent in 2011 and spent six seasons in rookie or Single-A ball. He hit 20 homers last season at Double-A, and he opened his batting stance to provide more power.

Price feeling better

BOSTON — Red Sox left-hander David Price says he’s feeling better, just days after getting a cortisone shot to treat a cyst in his left wrist.

“First time I’ve had an injection like that, so it made it sore the first 48 hours,” the 33-year-old said Saturday before Boston’s game with the Los Angeles Angels. “But yesterday it started feeling a lot better.”

Price was placed on the injured list on Thursday after an MRI revealed the cyst. Price is 7-5 with a 4.36 ERA over 21 starts this season.

He said the discomfort in his wrist started “about three or four starts ago” and was affecting his hand strength and ability to execute his pitches — particularly his cutter and change-up. It caused pitches to come out of his hand about a split-second too early, he said.

“It’s been a struggle,” Price said. “Very tight. Not being able to take my wrist backward. That makes it tough. We handled it four days ago. The last few days have been a lot better.”

Price’s hope is the shot will dissolve the cyst. He couldn’t rule out the possibility of having minor surgery in the offseason, if the symptoms return.

“The shot can take care of things,” he said. “We injected straight into the cyst. So hopefully that blows it up and it doesn’t come back. But, if not, it is something we could have cut out. That wouldn’t be a very long recovery process.”

Red Sox manager Alex Cora believes the calendar will give the Red Sox a little relief while Price recovers and before they finalize a plan for their pitching staff for the stretch run of the season.

Boston’s series finale with the Angels is Sunday. After a three-game series at Cleveland, the Red Sox have an off day before opening a three-game home series with Baltimore next Friday. That is followed by three straight interleague series.

“David, it might take a while now, but when he’s fine it’s a sprint,” Cora said. “He’s shown before it doesn’t take that much for him to get back.”

Price will start tossing a ball in the next two days and take it from there, Cora said.

“We better be ready because as soon as his wrist feels better, I know he’s going to push to start throwing and performing,” Cora said. “We just got to make sure we make the right decisions and schedule him the right way.”

Tebow done for season

NEW YORK — Mets minor leaguer and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow is expected to miss the rest of the season due to a cut on his left hand.

The 31-year-old Tebow hit .163 in 77 games during his first season with Triple-A Syracuse but hasn’t played since July 21 after injuring himself fielding a ball in the outfield. The laceration required several stitches. Syracuse’s regular season ends Sept. 2.

This is the second straight year Tebow’s season will end prematurely. The outfielder missed the final two months of 2018 because of a broken bone in his right hand.

The 2007 Heisman Trophy-winner is in his third year of professional ball and first in Triple-A after a three-year stint at quarterback in the NFL. He has batted .223 with 18 homers in 287 minor league games.

Newsday first reported that Tebow would miss the rest of 2019.

Astro bats hot in rout

BALTIMORE — Houston manager A. J. Hinch was awestruck by his team’s extraordinary display of power.

The Astros aren’t showing any type of weakness heading into the final stretch of the season.

Rookie Yordan Alvarez hit three of Houston’s six homers and drove in a career-high seven runs to help the Astros to the highest scoring game in franchise history with a 23-2 rout of the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night.

“It was obviously a pretty explosive night from the beginning,” Hinch said. “From top to bottom just incredible at-bats, productive at-bats, explosive at-bats and ultimately a comfortable win.”

The victory was the eighth straight for the Astros, who became the latest team to feast on the reeling Orioles. Baltimore has allowed a major league-leading 240 homers and lost five straight.

It was the second 20-run game in Astros history. Houston also beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 21-5 on Oct. 2, 2015. The 13 extra-base hits set a franchise record.

Alex Bregman, who went 3 for 3, and Alvarez set the tone with back-to-back homers in the first inning. Alvarez added the grand slam in the seventh and a two-run shot in the ninth.

Jose Altuve hit his fourth home run in his last seven games in the second. Carlos Correa hit another home run an inning later with a 474-foot shot that cleared the bullpens in straightaway center.

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