Baseball / Sports

Home-run derby continues against Josh Tomlin as Indians fall to Reds, 9-2

CLEVELAND -- Considering the dearth of reliable arms in the Indians starting rotation, Josh Tomlin was practically cast in the role of sacrificial lamb Tuesday night.

There is hope that the Tribe's gutty right-hander will return to his pre-right elbow reconstruction form. But in his first full season back, Tomlin has watched his foes play home run derby.

It didn't help that the Reds sent to the mound right-hander Johnny Cueto, an All-Star who came into the game leading the National League in opponents' batting average and ranking second in strikeouts and ERA.

The on-paper mismatch proved to be just that.

Tomlin surrendered his 17th home run of the season, a three-run blast by Ramon Santiago in the second inning, as the Cincinnati Reds cruised to a 9-2 interleague victory before a crowd of 22,068 at Progressive Field.

The Indians managed just five hits off Cueto (13-6, 2.04), who recorded his fifth consecutive winning decision and his fourth complete game.

It marked the first victory by the visiting team in the last 13 games in the "Battle of Ohio" series. The Indians had won 10 consecutive games at home against the Reds, their longest active streak against any opponent, dating back to May 22, 2010.

Reds third baseman Santiago had not homered since Aug. 16 against Kansas City. The last time he hit one on the road was June 9, 2012. Both of those came when he played for the Detroit Tigers.

The game was tied at 1 when Tomlin got into trouble in the second. He struck out leadoff hitter Brayan Pena, but he reached first on a wild pitch. Kris Negron singled to center and Zack Cozart bunted into a fielder's choice. That set the stage for Santiago, who sent Tomlin's first pitch over the fence in right field.

Tomlin, who was called up from Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday to make the start, has given up at least one home run in all but two of his 16 games this season.

The Reds added a run in the fourth on Jay Bruce's RBI single and one in the fifth when Chris Heisey came home from third as Pena was thrown out trying to steal second.

Down 6-1, the Indians got a run back in the seventh. Lonnie Chisenhall walked, David Murphy singled to right and Yan Gomes brought Chisenhall home with a double to right. But Murphy was thrown out at third when a ball came out of the Reds bullpen in right field. Murphy was tagged out on a 9-4-6-5 play.

The Indians got their first run in the first, when Mike Aviles doubled to left and Michael Brantley scored him with a single to right. It was the 72nd RBI of the season for Brantley, who entered the game eighth in the American League in that category.

Tomlin (5-8, 4.75) lasted 4 1/3 innings, giving up six runs (five earned) on eight hits. He struck out five and walked one. Carlos Carrasco took over for Tomlin and held the Reds scoreless until the ninth, when he gave up a leadoff homer to Jay Bruce and loaded the bases on three singles before Negron hit a two-run double off Kyle Crockett.

(c)2014 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

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