Rosales helps Reds get by Indians
The first time Adam Rosales got a chance to break open the game, he fouled out. That's how it's been going lately for the lanky rookie, who has struggled to get a hit.
Given another chance to drive in a run in the eighth inning, he broke the tie and his 0-for-14 slump. Rosales' double led the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians in the renewal of their intrastate rivalry Friday night.
No one appreciated it more than Rosales, a rookie who failed with the bases loaded in an earlier at-bat.
"I hit a little rut," Rosales said. "Baseball has its ups and downs. I was a little frustrated earlier, but you've got to stick in it."
Jonny Gomes, called up from the minors before the game, doubled on the first pitch he got from left-hander Aaron Laffey (3-1) as a pinch hitter leading off the eighth. One out later, Rosales put the Reds ahead with his double, emphatically smacking his hands together seven times when he reached second base.
"That was huge, especially after he left the bases loaded," manager Dusty Baker said. "If you keep putting them out there, eventually something's going to happen."
Something bad seems to keep happening for the Indians, who have yet to win three games in a row this season. On Friday, they saw two pitchers leave with injuries.
Starter Anthony Reyes had the wildest performance of his career, walking a career-high six batters and hitting another during only three innings. He then left with an inflamed pitching elbow. The Reds' lackluster offense managed only one run off Reyes, on Brandon Phillips' sacrifice fly.
"He was just having trouble feeling the ball coming out of his hand," manager Eric Wedge said. "I think that's why he was so erratic. That's why we got him out. He's had some elbow issues in the past, but obviously today was a little more extreme."
Laffey felt muscles tighten in his lower right side on the pitch that Rosales hit for the tiebreaking double. On his next pitch, he knew something was wrong and left the game.
"On the pitch before (to Rosales), I kind of had a cramp," Laffey said. "On the next pitch, there was a sharp pain. After that happens, you don't want to push it."
Bronson Arroyo (6-3) gave up five hits in eight innings and was helped by three double plays. Grady Sizemore had two of the hits off Arroyo, including a homer in the first inning. Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his 11th save in as many chances.
"It was good all the way around," Arroyo said. "Gomes came through at the right time. You don't often get a chance to come out of the game in the eighth inning 1-1 and get a win."
The Ohio Cup - a trophy topped by a silver bowl - was displayed on a table along the first baseline before the game. The Reds took last year's intrastate series 4-1 and got to hold onto the keepsake.
The series matching teams from opposite ends of the state was a big hit when it started in 1997, back when thousands of Cleveland fans would make the four-hour drive down Interstate 71 to watch the Indians play.
Lately, it has lost some luster. The Indians have the worst winning percentage in the American League at 16-27. The Reds have had eight straight losing seasons. The series opener, along with postgame fireworks, drew 28,019.
Sizemore got it started with a solo homer in the first. The center fielder was dropped to second in the batting order this week because of his slump - he came in batting .213 - and was only 3 for 24 in his last seven games.
The Indians lead the interleague series 30-27. ... Cleveland went 6-12 in interleague play last season and is 108-104 overall since it began in 1997. Cincinnati went 9-6 last season and is 78-95 all-time. ... Reyes threw 59 pitches, only 23 of them strikes. ... Reds 1B Joey Votto was available to pinch hit. He has been sidelined since Saturday with an inner-ear infection.