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Listless Indians no match for Reds

By PAUL HOYNES • Jul 9, 2018 at 10:33 PM

CLEVELAND — Do you think somebody should tell the Indians that there are still six games left before the All-Star break?

It couldn't hurt because for the last two days they looked like they misread the schedule and started their mini-vacation early.

The Reds, in last-place in the NL Central, walked into Progressive Field on Monday night to take the first installment of the battle for the Ohio Cup with a 7-5 victory over the Tribe.

Mike Clevinger took the loss in an unusual start. He tied a career high with 11 strikeouts, but had trouble retiring the first man he faced in almost every inning. The Reds put the leadoff runner on base in five of the seven innings Clevinger started and three of those runners scored.

Eugenio Suarez, the NL RBI leader, walked to start the second. He scored on Tucker Barnhart's double for a 1-0 lead.

Scooter Gennett, who entered the game tied for the highest batting average in the NL, walked to start the fourth. He scored on a double by Jesse Winker for a 2-0 lead.

By the time Clevinger came out for the seventh, the Reds held a 4-1 lead. Clevinger allowed a leadoff single to Billy Hamilton to end his night, but not his linescore. Marc Rzepczynski relieved as Hamilton stole second and went to third on a throwing error by catcher Yan Gomes. Scott Schebler brought him home with a single for a 5-1 lead.

Schebler finished the night with four hits, including a two-run homer in the ninth, and three RBI.

Clevinger (8-3, 3.34), working on seven days rest, allowed five runs on seven hits in six innings. It was the fourth time he's struck out 10 or more batters in a game this season.

The final score would have been worse if not for two fine defensive plays behind Clevinger. Right fielder Tyler Naquin ended the first -- saving a run in the process - with a diving catch on the warning track against Gennett.

In the second, center fielder Greg Allen saved another run as he banged into the wall to catch Adam Duvall's drive for the second out with a runner on second.

Offensively, the Indians spent most of the night hitting weak fly balls against right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (4-1, 4.43). DeSclafani opened the season on the disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle and missed the entire 2017 season with a strained ligament in his right elbow.

In six innings DeSclafani held the Indians to one run, a homer by Yonder Alonso with one out in the fourth. Alonso made his big-league debut with the Reds in 2010.

Offensively speaking, Monday night's game felt a lot like Sunday's 6-0 loss to the A's. In that game, the Indians were held to five hits and went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Left-hander Brett Anderson, just off the disabled list, kept them spellbound for five innings.

All that changed in the ninth, but not before Schebler completed his four-hit game with a two-run homer off Josh Tomlin to make it 7-1. Tomlin, making his third appearance in as many days, has allowed 21 homers, including two in the last three games.

The Indians rallied for four runs, two of them coming on a two-run homer by Jason Kipnis. A sacrifice fly by Francisco Lindor and a RBI double by Michael Brantley accounted for the two other runs.

But Reds' closer Raisel Iglesias recorded the last two outs for his 18th save.

What it means

The Reds are 37-36 since Jim Riggleman, former Tribe third base coach, became interim manager on April 19.

The pitches

Clevinger threw 107 pitches, 71 (66 percent) for strikes. DeSclafani threw 98 pitches, 58 (59 percent) for strikes.

Thanks for coming

The Reds and Indians drew 22,561 to Progressive Field on Monday night. First pitch was at 7:10 p.m. with a temperature of 81 degrees.

Up next

Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer (8-6, 2.45) will face the Reds and right-hander Sal Romano (5-8, 5.40) at 7:10 p.m. tonight. SportsTime Ohio and WLKR/FM 95.3 will carry the game.

This will be Bauer's third interleague start of the year. He won his first two, both against the Cubs, allowing one earned run in 12 2/3 innings for a 0.71 ERA. He is 1-2 with a 4.95 ERA in four career starts against the Reds.

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