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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | July 20, 2018

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Cueto Shuts Down Tribe, Bullpen Bombed; Reds 7, Indians 1

By Evan Matsumoto

Jeanmar Gomez is hitting .500 on the season. That was about the highlight of the night for the Indians as they lost to the Reds, 7-1.

Gomez’s night began on a less sweet note than his batting average. He beaned the first Reds’ batter with his opening pitch and laid down a curious bunt toward first base with two outs already in the book.

The Tribe’s offense got off to a quick start in the first when Shin-Soo Choo hit a leadoff double to deep left field. Choo was forced to third on an Asdrubal Cabrera groundout and was then driven in by Jason Kipnis’ single to left.

Reds’ starting pitcher Johnny Cueto knocked just his second hit of the season in 21 at-bats—a .095 average—and then found himself on second base after a Gomez slider snuck by catcher Carlos Santana and a Wilson Valdez single drove him to third. A throwing error by Santana brought Cueto home to tie the game in the third inning.

The Tribe was sat down in order in the top of the fourth. Immediately following in the bottom of the inning, Todd Frazier drilled a double to the warning track to lead off but was then stranded there with Ryan Hanigan after Cueto grounded out to second.

Gomez was the only Indian to reach base in the fifth after he belted his first hit of the season, a single to left field to improve his batting average to .500.

Chris Heisey led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a single to left and a stolen base. After Gomez intentionally walked Joey Votto to first, Brandon Phillips pushed Heisey and Votto up with a single to right field. With the bases loaded, Jay Bruce hit a sacrifice fly into center to score Heisey and give the Reds a 2-1 lead.

The bases were loaded again with two outs in the same inning after Gomez walked Frazier but the Reds left three stranded when Ryan Ludwick stuck out swinging.

Gomez’s lack of control caused him to sit after just five innings, giving up six hits and two earned runs. He dropped to 4-5 on the season.

Reliever Joe Smith sat the Reds down in order in the bottom of the sixth but was relieved by Tony Sipp an inning later.

Michael Brantley’s 18-game hitting streak was in jeopardy early as he grounded out in the first and flied out in the fourth inning to start the game 0-2 but he extended the streak to 19 games in the top of the seventh with a single up the middle. Brantley was caught stealing and Casey Kotchman struck out swinging to end the inning.

Votto hit a two-run blast to the left-field seats off Sipp in the seventh, scoring Valdez, to put the Red’s up 4-1.

The Reds hammered away at Jeremy Accardo in the eighth inning, scoring three runs on five singles and a throwing error by Choo, to widen the gap to six runs.

Cueto threw his 100th pitch in the top of the eighth inning but that didn’t seem to faze him as he ended with the complete game on 121 pitches, the sixth complete game of his career. With the win, he improves to 7-3 this season.

The Tribe’s bats took the night off after the first inning. The Indians fell in order four times on the night —in the third, fourth, sixth and eighth innings—and only posted six hits.

Brantley’s 19-game hitting streak is the longest active streak in the majors—the fourth longest in the majors this season behind three 20-hit streaks—and the longest for Cleveland since Brantley’s 19-game streak from August 30 to September 19, 2010. Brantley is hitting .357 over this season’s streak with five extra-base hits.

The Indians play game two of their three-game series against the Reds Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. Derek Lowe (7-3, 3.72 ERA) will take on Mike Leake (2-5, 4.97 ERA).

Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

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