Tribe Swept Out of Queen City By Big Innings, Big Bombs; Reds 12, Indians 5
By Craig Gifford
Thursday afternoon’s game for the Cleveland Indians in Cincinnati was truly a microcosm of how their 10-day, three-team road trip went. It started with so much promise and ended with a big, loud thud.
Building off a three-run first, Cincinnati’s offense was far too powerful for the Indians as the Reds hammered Cleveland 12-5. It completed a three-game sweep of the Indians, who had started the road trip at 4-2 in Detroit and St. Louis. The third straight loss has the second-place Indians at 32-30 and now two games behind the AL Central-leading White Sox, who play tonight in St. Louis.
Shin-Soo Choo opened the game at Great American Ballpark with his fourth home run of the season. After Asdrubal Cabrera doubled and later scored, the Tribe was carrying a 2-0 lead before the Reds even came to the plate against starter Josh Tomlin. It did not take long to see Tomlin did not have his good stuff on Thursday, nor did it take long for the Indians’ lead to become a deficit.
After the trio of runs in the first frame, the Reds simply continued to pile on. They added one in the third and two in the fourth. Cincy broke the game wide open, plating five in a huge fifth inning.
Tomlin labored through four of those stanzas. He coughed up six earned runs on 10 hits. Rookie Scott Barnes relieved in the fifth and was actually worse. The young left hander had his worst outing of his brief Major League career. In one inning, Barnes surrendered five runs, all earned, on five hits. With that, it was 11-3 when he left the game after inning was over.
Cleveland’s offense just could not keep up. Choo delivered his second long ball of the game in the fifth. The Indians tallied the final two runs of the game in the seventh. Jose Lopez and Aaron Cunningham each had ground outs that brought home runs. That was all the scoring Cleveland would be able to do. Reds relievers J.J. Hoover and Sam LeCure closed the game with a scoreless inning, each.
The bright moment of the day for Cleveland came in that seventh inning. Michael Brantley singled, extending the big league’s longest hitting streak of the season to 21 games.
Along with Choo, Cabrera and Lou Marson also had solid offensive showings with three hits apiece. Cabrera ended the game with two doubles.
After the Reds’ big fifth, the Indians were able to shut down the Cincinnati bats. Recent pick up Esmil Rogers looked good for a second straight game, with one and two-third innings, allowing only one unearned run. Jeremy Accardo tossed two scoreless frames.
The Indians will look to bounce back from the sweep as they return home for six games. They begin a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates tomorrow night at 7:05. It will be Justin Masterson squaring off against Pittsburgh’s James McDonald, who is sporting a 2.39 ERA through 12 starts this season. Cleveland will face these same Reds for three games, starting Monday at Progressive Field.
Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images