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Aristides Aquino: Reds rookie sets record with 8th homers in 12 games

By Alex Butler

Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Cincinnati Reds outfielder Astrides Aquino continues to be on fire to start his career, hitting a record eight home runs in his first 12 Major League Baseball games.

Aquino made his MLB debut Aug. 1. He went deep for an eighth time during the Reds' 7-6 loss to the Washington Nationals Monday at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

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"I wanted to go out there and do my job the best that I can do," Aquino told reporters. "[I wanted to] try to compete and do my best."

Aquino, 25, is now hitting .429 with eight homers and 16 RBIs this season. He went 1-for-4 with two RBIs, two strikeouts and a run scored in Monday's loss.

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"A lot of us say we've never seen anything like it, and that would explain it: It's never happened before," Reds manager David Bell said. "We've been talking about him now. The great thing is, with the success, just the way he is handling it, his maturity level and he's handling it with a lot of poise.

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We believe in him and believe he's going to keep going. We're going to need him to. It has been fun to watch for everyone."

The Reds took an early lead Monday when Jesse Winker led off the game with his 16th home run of the season. But the Nationals answered with three runs in the bottom of the opening inning. Jose Iglesias plated Tucker Barnhart in the top fo the second inning to close the Reds' gap to one run.

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The Nationals answered once again in the fourth frame, with Trea Turner hitting a three-run homer. Turner pushed the Nationals' lead to 7-2 with an RBI double in the seventh inning.

Aquino walked to the plate as the fourth batter of the eighth inning. The Reds outfielder took a slider for a ball against Nationals reliever Tanner Rainey. The right-handed pitcher then tossed in a 98.2 mph fastball. Aquino turned on the offering and belted it over the center field fence for a two-run homer.

The 425-foot bomb had an exit velocity of 106 mph and left the field in 5.3 seconds, according to Statcast.

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Cincinnati got another homer from Phillip Ervin to lead off the top fo the ninth inning. Joey Votto followed by plating Iglesias on an RBI double, but the Reds couldn't close the gap and complete the ninth-inning rally against Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle.

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Iglesias went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the loss. Turner was 2-for-5 with four RBIs, a strikeout and a run scored for the Nationals.

The Nationals host the Reds again at 7:05 p.m. EDT Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

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