The Cleveland Indians were looking to avoid the sweep on Thursday afternoon against their Ohio rival Cincinnati Reds. They were unsuccessful as they were pounded by the Reds 12-5 at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.
The game started off well for the Indians as Shin-Soo Choo led off the game with a solo home run off Reds starter Mike Leake. Asdrubal Cabrera followed Choo with a double. Jason Kipnis then grounded out to the shortstop and Cabrera moved to third base. Carlos Santana then grounded out weakly to second base, but got the job done as Cabrera came home with the Indians second run. The run put the Tribe on top 2-0, the inning ended when the next batter Michael Brantley grounded out to second base.
The problem for the Indians on Thursday was simple, Josh Tomlin could not keep the ball in the ball park. Tomlin allowed singles to the first two Cincinnati hitters he faced in the first inning, Chris Heisey and Zack Cozart. Then Joey Votto made Tomlin pay as he blasted his 12th home run of the season over the center field fence to give the Reds the 3-2 lead. So much for an early lead and it was just the beginning of a long day for the Indians.
Tomlin added further to the Indians problems in the third inning, when on the second pitch of the inning he allowed a solo home run to former Indian and current nemesis Brandon Phillip. The home run was Phillips eighth of the season and put the Reds on top 4-2.
Tomlin continued to help the Reds out in the fourth inning when he could not locate his pitches and put everything where the Reds could hit it. The inning began when Tomlin walked Devin Mesoraco. Tomlin then gave up a single to PITCHER Mike Leake, putting men on first and second for Heisey. Heisey then singled sharply to center field to load the bases. Tomlin then got Cozart to ground to Jose Lopez at third base, Lopez threw home to retire Mesoraco and then Lou Marson threw on too first to retire Cozart for the double play. Tomlin then issued an intentional walk to Votto. But Phillips came up and on a pitch low and outside he basically stuck out his bat, slapping the ball to right field for a single. Leake and Heisey came home. With the two runs the Reds led 6-2. Tomlin was finally able to end the inning when he retired Jay Bruce on a fly ball to left field.
The Indians picked up a run in the fifth inning when once again Choo led off the inning with a home run, his fifth of the season to pull the Indians to within three runs at 6-3. The Tribe did put two runners on base with one out in the inning which marked the end of the line for Leake. Leake who was not happy when Reds manager Dusty Baker came out to remove him with one out in the inning, he was replaced by Jose Arredondo. Arredondo came on and did his job getting the final two outs of the inning and holding the score at 6-3.
Scott Barnes replaced Tomlin on the mound to start the fifth inning. The problem being, Barnes was worse than Tomlin. Barnes gave up a leadoff single to Todd Frazier and then put a fastball right down the middle to another former Indian Ryan Ludwick and Ludwick tattooed it over the center field fence to put the Reds on top 8-3. The home run was Ludwick's ninth of the season. But Barnes wasn't finished yet as he then allowed back to back singled to Mesoraco and Kristopher Negron to put runners at first and third. Then it got even uglier, if that's was even possible. Heisey hit a ground ball to Lopez at third. Lopez threw home to Marson and the Indians had Mesoraco in a run down. Marson threw the ball back to Lopez and after the throw it appeared that Mesoraco threw himself in front of Marson. Marson was charged with interference and Mesoraco was awarded home. The Reds were now up 9-3. Zack Cozart then struck out for the first out of the inning. Barnes who was, to put it kindly, HORRIBLE then walked Votto, which for as bad as Barnes looked may have been a victory due to the fact he kept the slugger in the ball park. The walk loaded the base for who else but, Brandon Phillips. Phillips then did what he does best, he killed the Indians once again with a single to left field and Negron came home with the Reds 10th run. Barnes finally finished himself off when he walked the next batter Jay Bruce, and Homer Bailey who pinch ran for Heisey came home with the Reds 11th run, giving them an 11-3 lead. Manny Acta came out to the mound to remove Barnes from the game. In a great show of restraint Acta did not punch Barnes in the face he simply took the ball and called for the newest Indians Esmil Rogers. Rogers did what Barnes could not do, he got outs. Rogers retired the only two Reds he faced in the inning to mercifully end the disastrous frame. In Barnes' one third of an inning of work he gave up five runs on five hits, walked two and somehow, almost unbelievably struck out one Reds hitter.
The fun continued for the Reds in the sixth inning. With one out in the inning Negron reached base when Lonnie Chisenhall allowed a ground ball to go right through his legs and into left field. Chisenhall had just entered the game and Lopez moved to second base, when Kipnis was removed from the contest. Negron ended up at second base on the play. Rogers then retired Alfredo Simon on strikes. Cozart then singled and Negron moved to third base. With runners on the corners and Votto at the plate, Rogers uncorked a wild pitch and Negron came with the Reds twelfth run of the game, increasing their lead to 12-3.
The Indians added two runs in the seventh inning to pull to within seven runs at 12-5. Carlos Santana led off the inning with a single and then Michael Brantley extended his hitting streak to 21 games when he doubled. Santana managed to make it to third base on the double, putting men on first and third with no outs. Lopez then grounded out to Phillips at second base and Santana scored. Aaron Cunningham then followed Lopez by grounding out to Phillips and Brantley came home with the Indians fifth run. The inning then ended when Marson struck out looking.
Brantley's 21 game hitting streak is the longest in the Major Leagues in 2012. It is the longest hitting streak by an Indians since Casey Blake hit in 26 straight games from May 20th to June 17th 2007.
Tomlin took the loss for the Indians. Tomlin went four innings giving up six runs, all earned on ten hits. Tomlin gave up the two home runs, walked two Reds and only struck out one. With the loss Tomlin falls to 3-4 with a 5.56 ERA. Arredondo picked up the win for the Reds. Arredondo retired the last two hitters in the fifth inning. With the win Arredondo improves to 4-1 with a 2.17 ERA.
With the loss the Indians fall to 32-30 and are 6-12 in their last 18 games.
The Indians will return home on Friday and begin a three game series with the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates at 7:05 p.m. at Progressive Field. Justin Masterson will be on the mound for the Indians. Masterson enters the game with a 2-6 record and a 4.76 ERA. Right hander James McDonald will be on the mound for the Pirates. McDonald is 5-2 with a 2.39 ERA.
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POSTED 06/14/2012 15:57