William Contreras also went deep in Milwaukee's third win in four games. Colin Rea (3-3) pitched five innings of three-run ball for the NL Central leaders, and Devin Williams closed it out after the bullpen faltered.
Brewers first baseman Jon Singleton went 1 for 4 and scored a run in his first major league game since 2015 with Houston. Singleton and Perkins were promoted from Triple-A Nashville on Saturday, and first baseman Darin Ruf and outfielder Tyrone Taylor were placed on the 10-day injured list.
Singleton missed the 2018-2020 seasons after his second suspension for violating the minor leagues’ drug policies. After playing in Mexico in 2021, he joined the Brewers’ system.
Jonathan India drove in three runs for Cincinnati, and rookie Matt McLain finished with two hits and scored three times. Jake Fraley homered, and Spencer Steer had two hits and two RBIs.
The Reds (26-32) have dropped three in a row since a five-game win streak. They had 11 hits, 10 walks and nine steals, but were unable to overcome another shaky start by Graham Ashcraft (3-4).
“Way too many walks,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “Way, way too many walks.”
The nine steals were the most for the Reds since they swiped nine bags against the Dodgers in 1976 and one shy of the team record set in 1913 against St. Louis. Part of the problem was Milwaukee pitchers weren't doing a good job of holding on runners.
“We had a couple of pitchers that struggled with it today,” Counsell said “I think the pitcher requires a certain amount of time to give the catcher a chance.”
Perkins hit an RBI single in the second and then capped Milwaukee’s five-run third with a drive to right that gave the Brewers a 9-1 lead. He went 1 for 12 and scored a run over his first 10 major league games.
“I was just glad I got the ball in the air,” Perkins said. “Then I saw (right fielder Fraley) and I was thinking, ‘I hope it goes.’ That's out. My mind was completely blank. I don't have words.”
“He just felt comfortable the second time around,” Counsell said. “Does kind of seem like that today. He had a nice game. He got his first shot, and that's always a different experience for everybody.”
Ashcraft (3-4) was tagged for a career-high 10 runs in four innings. He allowed nine hits, struck out two and walked four while dropping to 1-3 in his last four starts.
“It just wasn’t my day," Ashcraft said. "My stuff wasn’t in the zone. I couldn’t find the zone. Stuff just happened and I couldn’t do anything about it. Mechanically, and placement, my stuff isn’t doing what I need it to do, right now.”
India’s two-run single trimmed Cincinnati’s deficit to 10-6 in the eighth. Steer hit an RBI single in the ninth against Jake Cousins and pinch-hitter T.J. Hopkins managed a bases-loaded walk against Williams, bringing home another run.
But Williams then struck out Kevin Newman and McLain for his 10th save.
“To come back in a game when you’re down like that and have an opportunity to win, I’m really happy with that,” Reds manager David Bell said. “We didn’t sit back and wait for something to happen. We kept playing our game."
Rea allowed six hits, struck out five and walked three in his third straight win.
Brewers: Ruf has a right knee laceration, and Taylor is dealing with a right elbow strain.
Reds: OF TJ Friedl (left hamstring strain) was placed on the 10-day injured list, and LHP Nick Lodolo (left calf) was transferred to the 60-day IL.
Brewers RHP Adrian Houser (1-1) is scheduled to face Reds RHP Ben Lively (3-2) on Sunday.
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