Reds open game with 2 homers, beat Indians 7-2, split series
CLEVELAND (AP) — Rookie Nick Senzel and Joey Votto hit back-to-back home runs to open the game and Cincinnati later got deep shots from Eugenio Suárez and Curt Casali, powering the Reds to a 7-2 win over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.
The quick homers by Senzel and Votto off rookie Zach Plesac (1-2) marked the first time an opposing team hit consecutive homers to start a game in Cleveland in 118 years.
It also set the tone for the Reds, who earned a split of the two-game series between Ohio's teams and snapped an eight-game losing streak in interleague play.
Anthony DeSclafani (3-3) made the early support stand, allowing one run and four hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Carlos Santana hit his 14th homer for Cleveland.
There were fans still finding their seats when Senzel and Votto jumped on Plesac, who got his first major league win on Friday against the New York Yankees.
Senzel drove Plesac's fourth pitch onto the pedestrian patio beyond the left-field wall for his fifth homer. The Reds had just wrapped up congratulating him in the dugout when Votto, serving as designated hitter for the fourth time in his career, hit a 3-2 pitch into the right-field stands for his sixth homer.
Those two bangs were followed by another loud one in the bottom of the inning when Senzel and second baseman José Peraza had a frightening collision in short center field.
Indians leadoff hitter Francisco Lindor sent a bloop behind second base that Senzel caught on the run before slamming into a charging Peraza, and both players were knocked to the ground.
Senzel appeared to take the worst of the crash as he was struck in the face by Peraza's elbow. Senzel crumpled to the ground and shortstop José Iglesias waved to the dugout to get his teammate quick medical attention.
Both players avoided serious injury and stayed in the game.
Peraza later delivered an RBI double in the fifth to give the Reds a 3-1 lead.
Suarez led off the sixth with 15th homer and the third surrendered by Plesac, who had allowed just two in his previous three starts.
Casali opened the seventh with a homer off reliever Nick Goody, and Iglesias added a two-run double in the eighth to give the Reds a 7-1 lead.
Reds: Votto was replaced in the fifth inning because of mid-back tightness. ... RHP Robert Stephenson (cervical strain) began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday and pitched one scoreless inning. He was placed on the 10-day injured list on May 31. He's 2-1 with a 3.96 ERA in 21 appearances.
Indians: 2B Jason Kipnis missed his second straight game with tightness in his right hip. Manager Terry Francona said with an off day Thursday it made sense to give Kipnis some added rest.
Reds: RHP Tyler Mahle (2-6, 4.21 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series Friday against Texas. He suffered consecutive tough losses last month, when the Reds batted .070 (4 of 57) while being shut out twice.
Indians: Following an off day, Adam Plutko (2-1, 5.19 ERA) will make his first start on the road as Cleveland begins a three-game series at Detroit on Friday.