Indians return to first place during Ohio Cup
Continued home success over their intrastate rivals has helped propel the Cleveland Indians back atop the AL Central.
The Indians look to complete a series sweep with a seventh consecutive home victory over the NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.
Asdrubal Cabrera's two-run homer in the 10th inning Tuesday off hard-throwing Aroldis Chapman gave Cleveland a 3-2 victory. Though the Indians (35-32) won for just the third time in eight games, they moved back into first place for the first time since May 28 - one-half game ahead of Chicago.
Shin-Soo Choo had three hits and Cabrera two for the Indians, who rallied after Chris Heisey scored on a wild pitch to give Cincinnati (38-29) the lead in the top of the 10th.
"A great win, very dramatic, very emotional," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "There's a lot of adrenaline going on."
The Reds, who had won six in a row coming into the series, swept the Indians at home last week but are in danger of being swept for the first time this season.
"It's just another game," Chapman said. "What happened happened. All you can do is wait for the next day."
After not allowing an earned run over 29 innings in his first 24 appearances, Chapman has given up six and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings while going 0-3 and blowing two saves in his last six outings.
"He's human," manager Dusty Baker said. "What he was doing early in the year was (inhuman)."
Cincinnati star Joey Votto had two more hits, including his major league-leading 30th double. The 2010 NL MVP is 7 for 13 in the last three games and 9 for 19 versus Cleveland this season.
Votto, however, is 1 for 9 against scheduled Indians starter Justin Masterson (3-6, 4.38 ERA).
The right-hander has allowed one run, nine hits and struck out 15 over 14 innings while splitting his last two starts. He snapped a personal three-game losing streak when he gave up four hits and fanned nine in seven innings of a 2-0 victory over Pittsburgh on Friday.
Masterson has received a total of 10 runs of support in his last eight starts, so he's quickly learned what it takes to end up in the win column.
"I've got to make sure no one scores," Masterson said. "That's your job as the pitcher."
He is 1-2 with a 4.58 ERA against the Reds, who counter with Bronson Arroyo (3-4, 3.84).
The right-hander gave up two runs on two homers in seven innings while not factoring in a 3-2 loss to Detroit on June 9, then earned his first win since May 7 when he yielded three on two more homers in six innings of a 7-3 victory over the Mets on Friday.
"At this point in the season, I'll take a win any way I can get it," Arroyo said.
He is 4-4 with a 4.86 ERA as a starter against Indians, including 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA at Progressive Field.
Choo, batting .417 (15 for 36) in his last nine games versus Cincinnati, is 6 for 12 with four home runs against Arroyo.