When you are in a losing streak, it often seems like nothing can go right. Bounces don’t go your way, pitchers can’t seem to find the zone and overall the losses just pile on. However, all it takes is just one game to break the trend, which is exactly what happened on Wednesday night for the Tribe. They were able to get great pitching and strong hitting on the way to a 5-2 victory, starting a one game-winning streak.
After starting strong for Justin Masterson with Shin-Soo Choo grounding out, then Zack Cozart striking out, Joey Votto gave the Reds an early one run lead. He was able to hit line drive home run to center field before Masterson got Brandon Phillips to strike out, ending the inning.
The bottom of the third inning started off with a bang for the Tribe, as Mark Reynolds was able to do what he has done all season, hit a home run. His lead off homerun to left field was able to tie the game at one before Arroyo was able to settle down and get the next three Indians in order.
The fourth inning looked as though the Red might have a chance to tie the game, after Masterson allowed back-to-back, two out walks to Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier. After a mound visit from pitching coach Mickey Callaway, Masterson was able to calm down and get Xavier Paul to ground out to end the inning.
Doubles were key the fourth inning for the Tribe but base runner gaffes limited the damage they were able to inflict. After Jason Kipnis grounded out to start the inning, back-to-back doubles from Asdrubal Cabrera and Nick Swisher were able to give the Indians the 2-1 lead. The next batter, Jason Giambi, was able to hit a deep double off the bottom of the wall that should have easily scored Swisher but he got a poor jump off second base and was tagged out at home, leaving Giambi at second with the lead still at one. Carlos Santana was the next up and he was able to work a walk, which should have amounted to a man on first and second situation, however Giambi tried stealing third base and was caught stealing to end the inning.
Masterson was able to use his bread and butter to get out of the fifth inning with no damage, using the sinker ball to induce ground outs. After a lead off walk to Ryan Hanigan, Masterson was able to get Hannahan to ground to first for an easy double play. Despite giving up a singles to Choo and Cozart, a sinkerball grounded by Votto right to Swisher ended the inning with no damage done.
After the Indians went down in order during the bottom of the fifth inning, Masterson and the Indians defense were able to do their best work of the night to hold the Reds scoreless in the sixth inning. Masterson gave up a single to Phillips, an error off the glove of Swisher to get Bruce safe at first and Frazier hit by pitch to set up a bases loaded no outs situation with Paul coming up to bat. Masterson was able to keep a pitch down in the zone for ground ball hit right back up the middle, thrown to Santana behind the plate, then to Swisher for a one-two-three double play. The next batter was Hanigan who hit a deep fly ball the Michael Brantley.
The bottom of the sixth was when the Indians blew this game open with one swing off the bat of Giambi. After Michael Bourn struck out and Kipnis ground out to start the inning, it was time for the Tribe to work their two out magic once again this season. Cabrera was able to hit a single to right field, which was promptly followed up by a Swisher single, leaving men at first and third base for Giambi. Proving to the world that he has not lost all of his power, he hit a strong home run to right field to drive in three runs and make it a five to one ball game.
Masterson’s day was over after the sixth inning, with Cody Allen coming in for the seventh inning. Allen did a wonderful job keeping the strong pitching going by getting the Reds to go down in order, including two strike outs of Choo and Cozart.
Joe Smith was able to come in and hold the Reds in check during the eighth inning, giving up only one hit to Phillips, a single that got through the infield to left field.
Vinnie Pestano was brought in to close the game out. Despite giving up a leadoff home run to Paul, Pestano was able to get the next three Reds batters in order, including an easy pop up to third base from ex-Indian Choo to end the game, giving the Tribe a 5-2 victory at home.
The win puts the Indians four games above .500 at 28-24, with the Reds dropping to 33-20. The win goes to Masterson (8-3 3.07 ERA) with the loss going to Arroyo (5-5 ERA 3.75).
The Indians move to 1-2 against the Reds this season with a chance to tie the series tomorrow with a 7:05 p.m. at Progressive Field. Scott Kazmir (2-2 5.94 ERA) will be on the mound for the Tribe, with Homer Bailey on the mound for the Reds (3-3 3.08 ERA).
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