Kolten Wong hit three home runs in the Milwaukee Brewers win over the Cincinnati Reds

CINCINNATI — Kolten Wong hit a career-high three homers and drove in five runs to help Brandon Woodruff and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-1 on Thursday night.

Wong hit a two-run homer against Hunter Greene in the second inning. He hit another two-run shot in the sixth against Dauri Moreta and a solo homer in the eighth against Joel Kuhnel.

Wong has a career-high 15 homers on the season.

“I’m definitely not a guy who hits three home runs very often,” Wong said. “I’ve had a couple of chances to do it, but I tried to do too much. I just tried not to do too much and keep my swing.”

Milwaukee finished with just four hits, but Wong’s first two homers all came after the lead.

“We had four hits,” manager Craig Counsell said. “Kolton had three and all three were home runs. It was pretty incredible. He was definitely a one-man show offensively.”

Wong is the third Milwaukee second baseman to hit three homers in one game. Dale Sveum did it on July 17, 1987 against the Angels, and Aaron Hill accomplished it on May 7, 2016 in Cincinnati.

The second-ranked Brewers (80-70) opened a four-game set against lowly Cincinnati with their second straight win. They finished 2½ games behind Philadelphia for the third NL wild card.

Woodruff (12-4) struck out 11 in six innings. He allowed three hits and walked two.

The 6-foot-1 righty has 32 strikeouts over his last three starts, all wins. He has 11 or more strikeouts in three of four starts against the Reds this season.

“I think it starts with rhythm and timing — simple things,” Woodruff said. “I’m consistently getting ahead more. I’m trying to get them swinging early.”

Counsell sees the right-hander return to form after missing most of June with right ankle and finger injuries.

“He’s improved,” Counsell said. “When he came back from injury he was good, but now he is even better for us in good times.”

Kyle Farmer hit his 13th homer in the sixth to account for Cincinnati’s only run. Greene (4-13) struck out eight in five innings.

The NL Central matchup drew a total of 9,889 at Great American Ball Park, the sixth crowd under 10,000 this season.

After Greene threw the St. With 47 pitches at least 100 mph in a 1-0 loss at St. Louis, Greene reached triple digits 15 times against Milwaukee, according to Statcast.

“I felt confident,” Greene said. “I felt really good. Those walks hurt me. That’s a good hitting team. It’s always a battle when you face those guys. They’re pretty good at catching mistakes. There were times when I cut out. I tried to lift the fastball. To Wong. It leaked a little bit over the plate .”