Indians lose fourth straight, fall 4-2 to Reds
Late Joey Votto home run lifts Cincinnati to series opening victory
CINCINNATI -- Joey Votto hit a tie-breaking, two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Cleveland Indians 4-2 in the first game of two at Great American Ballpark.
The homer came off Indians reliever Nick Hagadone, who was called up from Triple-A Columbus to replaceChris Perez (15 day disabled list). Shin-Soo Chooopened the inning with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball by Carlos Santana. With Choo on third following a sacrifice, Votto homered to left to put the Reds up 4-2.
Hagadone (0-1, 8.71) was done after just a third of an inning pitched, allowing two runs on two hits. Bryan Shawretired the final two batters in order, striking out one.
Ubaldo Jimenez pitched well enough to earn a win, but did not receive enough run support. In seven innings of work, he allowed two earned runs on four hits and four walks. He struck out six batters, including the final two he faced.
The Indians offense struggled to put runs on the board against Cincinnati starter Mike Leake. In the fourth, second baseman Jason Kipnis opened the inning with a single and advanced to third on an error by Brandon Phillips. Santana followed with a ball deep to left-center that was caught, allowing Kipnis to tag and score from third, making the score 1-1.
The Reds held a 2-1 lead when Jason Giambi hit a pinch-hit solo homer to center, his third of the season and first since April 20. The blast tied the game and traveled an estimated 467 feet. The hit was his ninth career pinch-hit homer ended a 0-for-24 slump.
The home run drove Leake from the game after seven and one-third innings. He allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out seven.
Choo took revenge on his former team in the top of the first with a leadoff homer to left, his 10th of the season. The Reds scored their second run off Jimenez in the sixth when Phillips hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Zack Cozart from third.
Notes: The Reds are now 40-42 in their inter-league series with the Indians. … Carlos Santana had two passed balls. The Indians are 15-16 when Santana starts at catcher. They are 12-5 when Yan Gomes is behind the dish.
Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English. He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall. Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.