Aquino makes his thunderous return to Reds

CINCINNATI – Nearly three years removed from being the talk of baseball during one spectacular stretch of power, Reds right fielder Aristides Aquino showed on Monday that his powerful swing could once again be a clear and present danger to pitchers.

During a 7-4 Cincinnati loss to the Cubs at Great American Ball Park, Aquino slugged a pair of home runs that brought back memories of August 2019, when he hit 14 of them in one month and broke several rookie records.

“He’s smoking the ball, I love to see it, man,” said left fielder Tommy Pham, who also hit a homer in the loss.

Aquino’s production plummeted after 2019, and he hit rock bottom during the first month of the 2022 season. On April 30, he was designated for assignment and cleared waivers to go outright to Triple-A Louisville after batting .049 (2-for-41) with one homer and 23 strikeouts in 15 games. He was hitless in the last 25 at-bats before his demotion.

While at Louisville, Aquino was credited for his positive attitude and his efforts to turn things around. In 10 games for Louisville, he was batting .314 with a 1.148 OPS and four home runs.

“It’s really tough when you’re not doing good when you’re struggling,” Aquino said. “You’re always trying to do your best. I just gained my confidence back. I have the opportunity to be on the field playing every day, that’s great, and then…

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