Created on Friday, 31 May 2013 Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians made certain one inning decided Thursday night's game against Cincinnati.
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Scott Kazmir delivers against the Cincinnati Reds in the sixth inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 30, 2013, in Cleveland. Kazmir allowed one run in seven innings and got the win in the Indians' 7-1 victory. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
The Indians, held in check for three innings by Reds starter Homer Bailey, scored seven runs with two outs in the fourth and rolled to a 7-1 win over Cincinnati.
The rally featured six straight run-scoring hits and supported a strong outing by Scott Kazmir, who allowed one run in seven innings.
"That was really fun to watch," Indians manager Terry Francona said of the big inning that gave the Indians a split of the annual Ohio Cup interleague series.
Reds manager Dusty Baker understandably had a different point of view.
"It's been a long time since I've seen a team get six straight two-out hits," he said. "I'm not sure what the Indians figured out there, but whatever it was, it worked."
The Reds won in Cincinnati on Monday and Tuesday before the Indians took both games when the series shifted to Cleveland. Cincinnati has lost nine in a row at Progressive Field and haven't won in Cleveland since May 22, 2010.
Run-scoring singles by Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes, an RBI double by Ryan Raburn, a two-run double by Michael Bourn and an RBI single by Jason Kipnis chased Bailey in the fourth. Asdrubal Cabrera added a run-scoring double off Alfredo Simon.
"Brantley opened the doors for us with that two-out knock and everybody else tried to follow suit," Raburn said. "Sometimes that doesn't work but tonight it did."
The Indians carried a five-game losing streak, in which they scored 14 runs, into the series. Cleveland had also dropped seven of eight, but the bats woke up when the Reds hit town. Cleveland homered twice Wednesday, including a game-clinching three-run homer by Jason Giambi, and fell one run off their biggest inning of the season Thursday.
"That was impressive," Francona said. "We had a tough time breaking through. Bailey's got good stuff. We kept extending the inning."
Jay Bruce drove in Cincinnati's only run with an RBI single in the sixth. Kazmir (3-2) recorded his longest outing in the majors in three years. The left-hander dodged a bases-loaded jam in the third when he got Joey Votto, who came into the game batting .417 in May, to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
"That was huge," Kazmir said. "He's a very good hitter. I knew I had to be careful. That's the bottom line."
Bailey (3-4) retired the first seven hitters before Gomes reached on an infield hit in the third. The bottom fell out for the right-hander, who lasted 3 2-3 innings for his shortest outing of the season, in the fourth.
Cabrera was hit by a pitch and took second on Carlos Santana's one-out single. After Mark Reynolds struck out, Brantley, who was in a 1-for-15 skid, singled sharply through the left side to score Cabrera. Gomes followed by lining a single to left, scoring Santana. Raburn's double to left scored Brantley before Bourn drove a double into the left-field corner for two more runs and a 5-0 lead.
Kipnis, who was in a 4-for-34 slump, singled to right to score Bourn and finish Bailey. Cabrera doubled to right against Simon.
Brantley and Kipnis weren't the only Cleveland hitters to break out of slumps in the inning. Santana came into the game batting .204 in May while Raburn was in a 3-for-24 skid.
Bailey, who threw 45 pitches in the fourth, allowed seven runs — tying his season high.
Kazmir, a two-time All-Star with Tampa Bay, had his career sidetracked by arm problems that began in 2009. He was traded to the Angels that season but was 9-15 in 2010 and appeared in only one game the following year before being released. The Indians signed him to a minor-league contract in January after he pitched in an independent league last season.
Kazmir, who was 0-1 and allowed 11 earned runs in 13 innings in his past three starts, won for the first time since May 9.
Votto went 0-for-4, snapping his career-long 18-game road hitting streak.
NOTES: Raburn left the game in the fifth with cramping in his lower legs. He's listed day to day. ... The Reds begin a three-game series Friday in Pittsburgh. RHP Johnny Cueto (2-0) takes on Pirates LHP Wandy Rodriguez (6-2). ... Votto is the only Cincinnati player to appear in all 54 games this season. ... The Indians continue their five-game homestand Friday against Tampa Bay. RHP Corey Kluber (3-3) faces Rays righty Alex Cobb (6-2) in the opener of the three-game set. ... Indians RHP Justin Masterson, who defeated the Reds on Wednesday, is 4-0 with a 0.36 ERA in his past 25 innings at Progressive Field. ... Cleveland 1B Nick Swisher was honored by the FBI Citizens Academy Foundation before the game. Swisher donated $25,000 to the organization in support of the FBI's Child ID Kit program.