Votto and Former Tribesmen Issue Another Defeat; Reds 4, Indians 2
Mike B. | On 27, May 2013
The Indians and Reds have made some memorable trades over the last decade. At times, you needed a scorecard today to know who was helping what team win.
Shin-Soo Choo, Brandon Phillips and Drew Stubbs each played roles in the game’s outcome, but it was Joey Votto with the final blast in the game. His two run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning off Nick Hagadone issued the Indians a 4-2 loss on Monday afternoon.
Cincinnati took the lead immediately in the bottom of the first inning, using an all-too-familiar weapon to the Tribe. Now the Reds’ leadoff hitter, Choo, hit an opposite field home run the lead off the offense for Cincinnati in the first inning. His tenth home run of the season was his first lifetime against his former team.
However, Cleveland used the help of another former Tribesmen to even the score in the top of the fourth inning. Jason Kipnis led off the inning with a single to right field off Reds’ starter Mike Leake. After Asdrubal Cabrera struck out, Nick Swisher hit a ground ball to second baseman Phillips, but he pulled his glove up too quickly and the grounder scooted past him. The error allowed Swisher to reach safely and Kipnis to advance to third base with one out. Carlos Santana hit a deep sacrifice fly to left field to score Kipnis and tie the game at one run a piece.
After each team plated a run, Leake and Jimenez settled in and took control of the game. Leake allowed just three hits and the unearned run in the first six innings, while Jimenez allowed just three hits and one run in the first five frames.
The Reds finally plated another run in the bottom of the sixth inning, possibly with the help of third base umpire Eric Cooper. Zack Cozart led off the inning with a double down the left field line that barely caught chalk, if it did. Several replays could not confirm whether it was fair or foul.
After Votto grounded out to second base to move Cozart to third base, Phillips hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score him and give the Reds a 2-1 lead. Former Red Stubbs made a strong throw and had a chance to gun down Cozart at the plate, but the throw was up the first base line a bit and Santana dropped the ball turning back to the plate.
Jimenez’s day was done after seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits and four walks, while striking out six on 108 pitches. He looked much more like the pitcher who had four solid starts before getting smacked around by the Detroit Tigers last Wednesday.
The Indians were able to take Jimenez off the hook for the loss however, when his batting spot reached the plate in the way of pinch-hitter Jason Giambi. Mired in a 0 for 24 slump Giambi crushed a 467-foot solo home run to deep center field to tie the game.
His third home run of the season snapped the dry spell for the part time designated hitter. It also ended Leake’s day without a decision. He allowed two runs—one earned—on five hits, while striking out seven and walking no one. Jonathan Broxton (2-1) came in relief and ended the inning without any further threat.
The deadlocked game was short lived, unfortunately. Nick Hagadone came on in relief of Jimenez in the bottom of the eighth inning. Choo promptly singled to left field to start the inning and was able to advance to second base on a passed ball by Santana. Once Cozart sacrificed Choo to third base, Hagadone was forced to pitch to Votto. After getting ahead in the count, Hagadone left a fastball over the plate and Votto sent it over the center field wall for his ninth home run of the season, giving the Reds a 4-2 lead. Hagadone (0-1) was removed from the game, only getting one out, for Bryan Shaw.
Aroldis Chapman made short work of the Indians in the ninth and the game was over. The inning did have some drama when Chapman threw one pitch about five feet over Swisher’s head and the next pitch at his head. The two exchanged words after Swisher flew out.
Cleveland are now losers of six of their last seven and their third straight loss from its bullpen. The Indians were the last team in MLB to suffer a bullpen defeat, yet have now lost three straight.
The Tribe will try to take the second and final game in Cincinnati on Tuesday night. Zach McAllister (4-3, 2.89 ERA) takes the mound for the Indians, while the Reds will counter with Mat Latos (4-0, 3.17 ERA). Tomorrow night’s game is slated for 7:10 p.m. from Great American Ballpark.
Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images