(Sports Network) – Homer Bailey aims to keep his 2011 record unblemished this afternoon when he takes the mound for the Reds against the Cleveland Indians in the middle contest of a three-game series.
Bailey began the year on the 15-day disabled list with an impingement in his right shoulder, but he’s been spectacular since his season debut May 5 against Houston. In his three starts, the 25-year-old right-hander has given up just four earned runs over 19 innings for an ERA of 1.89. He’s also fanned 16 batters and walked just four.
In his most recent start, Monday against the Cubs, Bailey allowed three earned runs and six hits over six innings. He left the game trailing, 4-0, but the Reds scored seven times in the bottom of the sixth inning to put him in line for the win.
Bailey’s last start against the Indians ended early. Nearly a year to the day, May 23, 2010, Bailey left that contest at Progressive Field with inflammation in his right shoulder and went on the DL the following day. He’s 2-0 in his career against Cleveland, but has a 7.56 ERA in those four starts.
Last time out, the Indians supported Josh Tomlin with a bevy of runs. They’ll try to do the same this afternoon. Tomlin, who has yet to give up more than three runs in any of his eight starts this year, threw six innings in a 19-1 victory at Kansas City on Monday. Tomlin is the only Indians pitcher in club history to go at least five innings in each of his first 20 appearances with the club.
This will be Tomlin’s first appearance against a National League team.
In his first major league at-bat, Ezequiel Carrera dragged a bunt single down the first-base line to score the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, lifting the Indians to a dramatic 5-4 victory over the Reds on Friday.
The opener of this series had a little bit of everything, including a no-hit bid that Reds starter Travis Wood carried into the sixth inning before the wheels fell off during a four-run Indians rally that tied the game.
On as a pinch-hitter with two outs, Carrera dragged a first-pitch fastball from Nick Masset that first baseman Joey Votto fielded near the line. Votto reached to tag the 23-year-old, but Carrera danced around his glove to score Shin-Soo Choo from third.
“We had Joey (Votto) playing in front of the bag figuring he might bunt, which he did, but he made a perfect bunt,” said Reds manager Dusty Baker.
Chris Perez closed the game for Cleveland in the ninth, but not without a little drama. He walked leadoff hitter Fred Lewis and Drew Stubbs hammered a fastball that Choo leaped to catch in front of the wall in right field.
The next batter, Jonny Gomes, hit a liner that Perez caught between his legs, then tossed to first for a force out and game-ending double play.
Five players knocked in a run for the Indians, who are trying to win a series against the Reds for the first time since 2007 — a streak of seven series.
Cincinnati won four of six in this series last season and has won six of its last 10 in Cleveland.