Derek Dietrich of the Cincinnati Reds hits a home run in the 7th inning. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Former Georgia Tech star Derek Dietrich hits 3 homers in major-league game

Former Georgia Tech standout Derek Dietrich hit three homers — all two-run shots — for the Cincinnati Reds in an 11-6 home victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday night.

Dietrich grounded out in his first at-bat and connected in the fourth off Jordan Lyles. Dietrich then went deep off Geoff Hartlieb in the fifth and again in the seventh for his first three-homer game. He didn't get another at-bat.

Dietrich played three seasons at Georgia Tech, from 2008 to 2010. He hit over .300 in each season. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the second round in 2010.

Signed by the Reds to a minor league deal in February with a chance to compete for a spot off the bench, Dietrich has gotten playing time with Scooter Gennett sidelined since spring training with a groin injury.

Derek Dietrich at Georgia Tech in 2009. AJC file photo
Photo: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Dietrich’s 17 homers have already set a career high, and 12 of his last 17 hits have been home runs. He went 3-for-4 with six RBIs in the game. Dietrich is hitting .254 this season with 35 RBIs.

"They let me be myself," Dietrich said of the Reds. "They believe in me. They gave me an opportunity. That's all I've ever needed along the way."

Dietrich is the 28th Reds player with at least three homers in a game.

"This is more than just a hot streak," manager David Bell said.

Former Braves prospect Lucas Sims was called up by the Reds before the game and struck out a career-high nine in 7 1/3 innings and got the win.

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