Pitching, defense turn tide for Tribe
GOODYEAR, Ariz. — It wasn’t exactly an auspicious start for the Indians in Wednesday’s game against the Reds as they gave up two runs in the first, but after that things worked out rather well.
Cincinnati was shut out the rest of the way as Cleveland rallied for a 4-2 win at Goodyear Ballpark. The Tribe is 1-1 in Cactus League play.
"I thought we played a pretty good game," Terry Francona said. "We had one walk. Josh (Tomlin) got behind in the first inning. He left a couple balls up and paid for it. After that, everybody came in and threw strikes and worked ahead for the most part and the scoreboard reflects that."
Tied at two, the Indians took the lead in the eighth on a pair of runs off highly touted Reds prospect Raisel Iglesias. The right-hander had two wild pitches, one of which scored a run, and a fielding error by third baseman Neftali Soto on a slow grounder by Ryan Rohlinger allowed Carlos Moncrief to score the game-winning run.
Moncrief, who was the designated hitter, was 4-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.
STARTING OFF: Josh Tomlin allowed two runs in the first, including a solo home run to Billy Hamilton on the fourth pitch of the game, but retired the side in order in the second. The right-hander allowed two runs on three hits with a strikeout.
"There were a little bit of jitters from a competitive standpoint, but the most important part of spring training this early is to go out and compete," Tomlin said.
After Tomlin had departed, the Reds didn’t get another hit until the eighth when Irving Falu had a leadoff single.
T.J. House pitched two perfect innings and struck out two. Of the four balls that the Reds made contact, three were ground outs. The left-hander led the Indians last year in ground-ball percentage (61.8 percent) and was second in the American League among pitchers with 18 or more starts.
"He continues to pitch down with a lot of movement. He’s going to get a ton of ground balls, but he also gets some swing and miss because he gets below their barrels so much," Francona said. "I don’t care what time of year it is. Working quick and throwing strikes and keeping the ball down is always welcome."
Jeff Manship ended up getting the win after working a scoreless eighth, and Will Roberts got the save after retiring the side in the ninth and striking out two.
OTHER OFFENSIVE STANDOUTS: Francisco Lindor (more on him in a story that will post later) had a pair of singles. Tyler Holt tied the game at two in the sixth with a two-out, RBI single and Roberto Perez had a sac fly in the second inning to score Moncrief with the Tribe’s first run.
IN THE FIELD: James Ramsey and Destin Hood each made diving catches to rob the Reds of singles.
Ramsey, who entered the game in the fifth, made a quick impact as he caught a Jason Bourgeois sinking line drive to center. In the seventh, it was Hood’s turn to make a great fielding play for the second straight day as he got Felix Perez out in the left.
UP NEXT: Another meeting with the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. Coverage begins at 3 p.m. on SportsTime Ohio. There is also a "B" game at noon at the Reds Complex.
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