- Recap via SB Nation and Sports Network
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) – Michael Brantley clubbed a three-run homer in the third inning and the Indians held off Cincinnati, 3-1, to move to the verge of a season sweep of the Reds.
The Indians overcame an injury to starting pitcher Fausto Carmona. He strained his right quadriceps in the third inning after losing his balance and falling on his stomach while running out a ground ball.
Frank Herrmann (1-0) replaced Carmona on the mound and allowed one hit over three innings to pick up his first major league win. Vinnie Pestano escaped a jam in the ninth inning, striking out Scott Rolen to end the game, leaving runners at the corners. It was Pestano’s second save of his career.
Homer Bailey (3-3) was charged with eight hits and two earned runs. He fanned seven batters over seven innings, but lost his third consecutive decision.
Joey Votto homered in the eighth inning for Cincinnati, which has lost six of its last eight home games. The Reds couldn’t capitalize in key situations, going 1-for-13 with men in scoring position. They stranded 12 base runners.
Cleveland is 5-0 this season against the Reds and can complete the season whitewash on Sunday when Mitch Talbot takes the mound for the visitors.
The Reds wasted a first and third opportunity in the second, and the Indians went on top the next inning. Lou Marson singled and Carmona sent a bouncer to Rolen at third. Paul Janish pulled his foot off the base on the throw to second.
Carmona bolted down the line to avoid what he thought would be a double play. Instead, he tripped and landed on his stomach. Carmona walked off the field and was replaced by Josh Tomlin as a pinch-runner. Brantley then belted a 2-0 pitch over the wall in right field.
The best chance for the Reds to do damage came in the seventh. They loaded the bases with one out, but Drew Stubbs’ grounder resulted in a force out at home. Joe Smith, who started the frame, finished his 19th straight scoreless appearance by fanning Brandon Phillips to end the frame.
Votto homered to center off Tony Sipp leading off the bottom of the eighth. Pestano walked Stubbs and Votto singled with two outs in the ninth, but the Reds faltered again.
Mike Leake will start on the mound Sunday for the Reds…Rolen is one hit shy of 2,000 for his career…Cincinnati fell to 5-12 in interleague play, while the Indians moved to 11-6…Cleveland, which is alone in first place in the AL Central, has beaten the Reds six straight times.