Reds 7, Indians 5

Edgar Renteria’s few homers tend to be memorable.

Renteria hit his first homer since his World Series MVP

performance, helping the Cincinnati Reds break out of their

offensive slump and beat the Cleveland Indians 7-5 on Sunday, their

only win of the season against their intrastate rival.

Renteria’s solo shot barely cleared the wall in right field and

put the Reds up 7-2 in the fifth, putting the Reds in line for a

breakthrough win. The Indians took five of six in the series,

matching their best result. The Reds went 5-1 in 2008.

”That’s what we needed,” Renteria said. ”It’s the same thing

if you hit one like that or it goes 500 feet – they call it a home

run. It’s always nice to hit one.”

Chris Heisey also homered off Mitch Talbot (2-5), who has

struggled since returning from a sore elbow. The Reds piled up six

runs and 10 hits in his four innings.

Mike Leake (8-4) became the Reds’ first eight-game winner,

matching his career high with eight strikeouts in six innings.

Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his 17th save in 19

chances.

Five players learned before the game that they’ll be headed to

Arizona for the All-Star game next week – Cleveland’s Asdrubal

Cabrera and Chris Perez, Cincinnati’s Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips

and Jay Bruce. Instead of the stars, the reserves rallied

Cincinnati to its win.

Renteria had a pair of hits, including his first homer in 130

at-bats this season. He hit three for the Giants last season, and

two more in the World Series.

Heisey also had a pair of hits during a rare start in center

field. Miguel Cairo filled in at third base and had a pair of hits

and scored twice.

Cincinnati is delighted to be done with interleague play. The

defending NL Central champions went only 6-12 against the American

League, keeping them stuck a few games out of first place at the

season’s midpoint.

”Thank you, Lord!” Phillips said. ”I’m glad interleague is

over because they roughed us up this year. We’re not playing to our

potential, but I think we’ll be all right.”

By contrast, the AL Central-leading Indians prospered, going

11-7 in interleague games even though they couldn’t use DH Travis

Hafner on the road.

The Reds have struggled to hit with runners on base. They

stranded 12 – seven in scoring position – during a 3-1 loss to

Cleveland on Saturday, unable to get a clutch hit.

They put together a bunch of them on Sunday that went between

fielders, over outstretched gloves and – in Renteria’s case –

barely over the outfield wall. His solo homer in the sixth barely

cleared the yellow padding atop the wall in right and made it

7-2.

It was another disappointing showing for Talbot, who was on the

disabled list in May with a sore pitching elbow. In eight starts

since returning, he is 1-5 and has allowed 31 earned runs in 40 2-3

innings.

”It’s usually the first inning that gets me,” said Talbot, who

didn’t have a problem with it this time. ”Once I get through that,

I cruise. I’m not too sure what happened today.”

Since a brief demotion in May, Leake has been one of the Reds’

most consistent starters, going 5-2 with a 2.89 ERA in eight

appearances. Shelley Duncan hit a two-run homer in the second, and

Grady Sizemore had a two-run single in the sixth.

”I thought it was a pretty solid outing,” Leake said. ”I gave

up four runs, but I only gave up four hits. I was trying to keep

them in (the game).”

Notes: The Indians lead the all-time series 39-36. … Cabrera

is the first Indians SS to make the All-Star game since Omar

Vizquel in 2002, Perez the first closer since Bob Wickman in 2005.

… OF Travis Buck missed his second straight game with a tight

left hamstring. … RH Fausto Carmona went on the 15-day DL with a

strained right thigh, suffered during his tumble at first base on

Saturday. Perez, who had been in Florida for his grandmother’s

funeral, was activated off the bereavement list. … Renteria’s

homer was the first by a Reds SS this season. It gave Renteria 900

career RBIs.