CLEVELAND (AP) – No matter how well the Cincinnati Reds have played, they continue to struggle in Cleveland. The Reds look to avoid a sixth consecutive road loss to the Indians when the interleague rivals continue their series Tuesday night.
Cincinnati (38-28) outscored Cleveland 24-9 while sweeping the Indians at home last week and had little trouble scoring runs Monday, but its six-game winning streak came to an end with a 10-9 loss at Progressive Field.
The NL Central-leading Reds have won eight of 12 on the road overall, but they are mired in a five-game skid at Cleveland. Joey Votto and Jay Bruce homered Monday, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Indians. Reds pitchers have yielded 22 runs and 26 hits in the club’s last two games at Progressive Field, including a 12-4 defeat May 22, 2011.
“We couldn’t stop them,” Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said of Monday’s loss. “They couldn’t really stop us. They just got one more run. I told somebody early, `this is going to be a 10-9 game. I just hope it’s going to be us with the 10.”
Lonnie Chisenhall and Casey Kotchman each homered and drove in three runs while Shin-Soo Choo hit a solo shot for the Indians, who avoided a sixth loss in seven games overall and moved within one-half game of first-place Chicago in the AL Central.
Chisenhall, who came within a double of a cycle, is 5 for 10 in his last three games.
“(It’s) my best game in the major leagues so far,” said Chisenhall, batting .269 in 17 games this season. Batting .375 with five home runs and 11 RBIs in his last eight games versus Cincinnati, Choo hit a pair of homers off scheduled Reds starter Mike Leake (2-5, 5.05 ERA) during a 12-5 loss Thursday.
Leake battled a stomach virus to allow three runs over 4 1-3 innings in that contest. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 3.25 ERA in six starts since losing four straight April 21-May 11.
He is 1-0 with a 6.10 ERA in two career starts versus Cleveland.
Indians starter Josh Tomlin (3-4, 5.56) yielded six runs and 10 hits in four innings versus Leake and the Reds on Thursday to fall to 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA versus Cincinnati.
“Everybody knows everybody in this league,” manager Manny Acta told the Indians’ official website. “They know (Tomlin’s) going to attack the strike zone. It’s about him making quality pitches.”
Votto, who hit a three-run homer off Tomlin last week, is 7 for 14 with three home runs and seven RBIs against the Indians (34-32) this season.
Teammate Scott Rolen (strained left shoulder) was activated in time for the series opener and went 2 for 4 with two RBIs in his first game since May 11.
“I will stay on top of (the shoulder) as far as managing workload and the number of swings,” Rolen told the Reds’ official website.
The veteran third baseman is 6 for 17 (.353) in his last four games versus Cleveland.