PHOENIX -- The Reds came alive on Saturday night as they hung three first-inning runs on the D-backs en route to a 7-0 victory at Chase Field. Joey Votto, who hit 29 home runs all of last year, hit his second long ball in as many days to push his season total to 26.
In his fourth career big league start, Reds rookie Luis Castillo tossed 6 2/3 innings, struck out eight and held the D-backs to three hits for his first Major League win. It was All-Star Paul Goldschmidt who cracked Arizona's first hit -- a leadoff single up the middle in the fourth.
The D-backs, who were shut out at home for the first time this season, are now 9-23 in games in which they score three runs or fewer.
Within the first four innings, Billy Hamilton walked twice, stole three bases, scored a run and cracked an RBI single. He now has 37 steals on the season and took the MLB lead back from Washington's Trea Turner (35). Scooter Gennett added a home run with two outs in the fifth inning against Arizona starter Taijuan Walker. It was Gennett's 15th homer of the season, a new career high.
"Hamilton's one of their catalysts," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "Taijuan was doing his very best to make pitches, unfortunately he ended up walking him and kind of getting their line moving. You put [Zack] Cozart and Votto right behind him, and they're two very good hitters. I think Taijuan made a couple of mistakes tonight and they made him pay."
Now 6-4 with a 3.65 ERA, Walker threw five innings and surrendered five earned runs and five hits while striking out four and walking three. More >>
"I think, collectively, guys got to some of his better pitches and put the ball in play where they ain't," Votto said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Votto stays hot: Votto entered leading the National League in home runs, and he added to that total before the D-backs recorded their first out. Votto blasted a two-run shot in the first that left his bat at 101.4 mph and was projected to travel 374 feet, according to Statcast™.
"It's a big year. It's a big first half of the year for Joey," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "To do it at 33 -- he'll be 34 in September -- and being able to run the numbers he's running. ... I don't mean that he's past his prime, but he's still finding ways to evolve at 33, whereas I think a lot of players are trying to survive. It's been very impressive."
Peralta shuts down rally: In the seventh, A.J. Pollock came to the plate to pinch-hit for Rey Fuentes with two on and two outs and the Reds holding a 5-0 lead. Wandy Peralta relieved Castillo and induced a popup to Votto in foul territory, ending the Arizona threat. Peralta went on to work 1 1/3 innings with two strikeouts.
"We were limited to three hits on the entire night," Lovullo said. "We really couldn't build anything. I felt like we had a couple moments where if we got a hit, things could have really turned in a good way for us, but unfortunately not in the cards tonight."
"You couldn't ask for more than that. It was just a great performance. We grabbed the lead in the top of the first and he didn't give anything back. And they made him work." -- Price, on Castillo
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Votto (26), Scott Schebler (22) and Adam Duvall (20) are the only set of three teammates in the Majors with at least 20 homers each.
WHAT'S NEXT Reds: It will be Homer Bailey who takes the Reds' rotation into the All-Star break Sunday when he starts the 4:10 p.m. ET first-half finale vs. Arizona. Bailey has a 12.66 ERA through three starts but is coming off working six innings with one run and eight hits -- all singles -- in Tuesday's 8-1 win over the Rockies.
D-backs: Left-hander Patrick Corbin takes the mound at Chase Field on Sunday (1:10 MST) to close out the first half of the season. Corbin is 1-1 with a 3.48 ERA in six career starts against the Reds. He went 2-2 with a 3.41 ERA over 29 innings in his past five starts.
Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arizona and covered the D-backs on Saturday.