CINCINNATI -- A big home run by the Cincinnati Reds' most unlikely player led to the Indians' undoing Tuesday at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
A day later, the venue changed for the final two games of the Interleague series, with the Reds welcoming the Indians to Great American BallPark. But the result was same -- just doubled this time.
Against hard-throwing Danny Salazar Wednesday, the Reds slammed a pair of home runs that sent the Indians to an 8-3 defeat. It would have been worse, but the Indians rallied late against tiring starter Mat Latos.
With Latos trying to go the distance, Yan Gomes broke up his complete-game shutout bid with an eighth-inning leadoff home run that landed in the second deck of the left field bleachers. Pinch hitter Ryan Raburn later followed with a two-run double to make it a three-run inning.
But it mattered little by that point, as Reds reliever Jumbo Diaz came on with two outs in the inning and quelled the threat before the visitors got any closer.
Tuesday, Indians starter Josh Tomlin, who has a penchant for living and (mostly) dying by the long ball, absorbed a three-run home run by Ramon Santiago in the second inning that sparked a 9-2 Reds victory.
The Reds rode homers by even more unlikely sluggers on Wednesday. Zack Cozart sent a Salazar pitch 391 feet off the left field foul pole for a three-run shot in the second inning -- one batter before Latos was scheduled to first hit.
But it wasn't just a single mistake on this night. Two innings later, Salazar dished up a two-run shot to Reds seventh hitter Kristopher Negron, putting the Indians in a 5-0 hole.
Prior to Wednesday's start, Salazar had given up a combined four runs -- and no homers -- over his last three starts, spanning 18 innings.
One of Major League Baseball's most exciting rookie pitchers last year, Salazar saw his night come to a close after a mere four innings and 69 pitches in a loss that dropped his record to 4-5.
Latos, meanwhile, pitched deep into the night to pick up his fourth win of the season. The Reds right-hander blanked the Indians for seven innings before their late rally. In all, he held the Indians to three runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out five.
The teams wrap up the four-game series Thursday, with the Reds owning a 2-1 lead after dropping Monday's series opener in Cleveland.
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