Kolten Wong hit a career-high three home runs and had five RBIs as the visiting Milwaukee Brewers opened a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds with a 5-1 victory on Thursday.
Wong recorded his sixth career multi-home run game to lead the Brewers (80-70), who moved two games behind the Philadelphia Phillies for the third and final National League wild-card berth while the Phillies were still in action Thursday night.
Brandon Woodruff (12-4) allowed one run on three hits over six innings. He walked two and matched his season high with 11 strikeouts. He has 32 strikeouts in his past three starts.
Kyle Farmer homered for Cincinnati (59-91), which was held to four hits and lost for the 11th time in its last 14 games.
Milwaukee took an early 2-0 lead in the second when Hunter Renfroe drew a leadoff walk and Wong deposited a 98 mph fastball from Hunter Greene (4-13) over the right-field seats.
Greene yielded two runs on two hits over five innings with three walks and eight strikeouts. He has 27 strikeouts in his last 17 innings pitched.
Dauri Moreta relieved Greene to start the sixth inning and issued a leadoff walk to Rowdy Tellez. Wong then delivered a one-out homer to right field to extend the Brewers’ lead to 4-0.
Farmer put the Reds on the board with a solo homer in the sixth against Woodruff. The 391-foot shot came one batter after Jonathan India hit into a double play.
Wong continued his career night with two outs in the eighth. His solo blast against Joel Kuhnel sailed into the right-field seats, giving him a career-high 15 homers this year.
Wong’s three-homer game is the 22nd in franchise history and the first since Christian Yelich against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 15, 2019.
Alejo Lopez had two hits for Cincinnati, which has lost 11 of its first 16 meetings with Milwaukee this season.
Reds outfielder Michael Siani made his major league debut and went 0-for-3 while batting eighth.