Cabrera, Indians win on walk-off HR
What appeared to be a stirring win turned into a crushing loss for the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
The Reds scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th on a wild pitch, but closer Aroldis Chapman gave up Asdrubal Cabrera's two-run homer with one out in the bottom of the inning that sent Cincinnati to a 3-2 loss.
''The game goes from jubilation to a downer on one swing,'' Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ''That's a tough one to take.''
Cabrera drove a 3-1 pitch from Chapman (4-3) into the right-field seats. The second homer allowed this season by the hard-throwing left-hander scored Shin-Soo Choo, who had reached on a one-out single up the middle.
Nick Hagadone (1-0) worked one-third of an inning in Cleveland's second consecutive win over the Reds after being swept in three games last week in Cincinnati.
The Reds had taken a 2-1 lead in the top of the 10th when Chris Heisey scored from third base with a headfirst slide on a wild pitch by Hagadone.
It was the third blown save by Chapman in 11 chances.
''He's human,'' Baker said. ''What he was doing early in the year was unhuman. Asdrubal Cabrera's an All-Star. He can hit. When they do catch up with Chapman's ball, he's supplying most of the power. If they catch up to it and center it, sometimes that's going to happen.''
Only five of Chapman's 11 pitches were strikes.
''You're down in the count, you have to make a pitch down the middle and he hit a home run,'' he said through translator Tomas Vera, the Reds assistant athletic trainer.
The switch-hitting Cabrera was batting from the right side against Chapman.
''You just look for a fastball in a zone,'' he said. ''You can't try to pull anything. I just wanted to make contact.''
Despite the fact Chapman hits 100 mph consistently on the radar gun, Indians manager Manny Acta didn't want his players to back down.
''My thought was, 'He's human,' '' Acta said. ''There's no one in the game where you go and pick up the bats and gloves and go away. I gave them a little rah-rah talk. Sometimes it works.''
Chapman doesn't think he will have a problem bouncing back from the loss.
''It's just another game,'' he said. ''What happened happened. All you can do is wait for the next day.''
The Indians have hit both of the home runs Chapman has allowed in 34 1/3 innings. Jose Lopez homered against him in Cincinnati last week.
The NL Central-leading Reds had a six-game winning streak snapped by their Ohio rivals in a 10-9 slugfest Monday night and seemed to have bounced back before Cabrera connected.
Pinch-hitter Willie Harris opened the Reds' 10th with a double to center off Joe Smith.
Zach Cozart, who had three hits, tried to bunt Harris to third, but Smith hustled off the mound to field the ball and make a throw. Harris seemed to elude the tag by third baseman Jack Hannahan, but television replays showed that his front foot slid past the bag as he was tagged out.
Hannahan then fielded a broken-bat grounder by Heisey at the exact instant that the barrel end of the bat bounced between his legs. Hannahan threw to second to force Harris.
Hagadone, a lefty, came on to face Votto and threw a wild pitch just past the slugger's ear, sending Heisey to second. Votto worked the count to 3-2 and bounced a ball over Hagadone's head that was fielded by Cabrera, the shortstop, behind second base. Votto hustled down the line and beat the throw for a single, moving Heisey to third.
Brandon Phillips then swung at an 0-1 pitch in the dirt that got past Carlos Santana. The catcher tracked it down and shoveled the ball to Hagadone covering home, but Heisey beat the tag for a 2-1 lead.
The Reds went ahead 1-0 in the first against Josh Tomlin. Cozart hit a leadoff double, took third on a wild pitch and scored as Heisey grounded a ball up the middle and beat the throw to first by Cabrera for an RBI single.
Cleveland tied it in the fourth. Santana doubled into the right-field corner, moved up on a groundout to the right side by Michael Brantley and scored on Casey Kotchman's soft single to center.
Reds starter Mike Leake gave up one run and six hits over seven innings. The right-hander walked one and struck out four.
Tomlin gave up one run and six hits over 6 2/3 innings in his best outing in five starts since missing three weeks with a strained right wrist. The right-hander walked two and struck out two.
NOTES: Both managers downplayed an implication by Reds RHP Mat Latos the Indians stole signs Monday night when they pounded the pitcher for seven runs in four innings. ''We don't do that,'' Acta said. ''I have enough trouble making sure our kids know our own signs.'' Said Baker: ''You don't really have to steal signs when the ball is down the heart of the plate and up.'' ... OF Drew Stubbs (left oblique strain) is eligible to come off the DL Friday. Baker said Stubbs may take batting practice Wednesday and a minor-league rehab assignment is possible. ... Bronson Arroyo of the Reds faces Justin Masterson in the series finale on Wednesday.