The first eight innings of the Indians’ Wednesday night match-up against the Cincinnati Reds were a tedious exercise in watching the Reds come up with big two-out hits. About the only thing that made it bearable was occasionally switching over to the Sundance Channel, which was airing Bridget Jones’ Diary, so I could inhale small glimpses of Colin Firth. At least that was pleasant to look at.
Danny Salazar made his 12th start of the season for the Tribe. He’d won his last three, so when the Reds went down 1-2-3 in the 1st with two strikeouts, it looked like Salazar might have a good night. sadly, that feeling only lasted into the 2nd inning. After giving a pair of singles to Brayan Pena and Kris Negron, with two outs and two men on, Salazar hung a slider in the middle of the plate that Zack Cozart sent to the left field stands,putting Cincinnati up 3-0. In the 4th, Salazar again gave up a single to Pena. With two outs, Negron homered to left center, making it 5-0.
After giving up 5 hits, 5 runs, and striking out 5, Salazar was replaced by Nick Hagadone, who came in for the 5th and pitched two scoreless innings, striking out 3 and giving up just one hit. Scott Atchison took over in the 7th and promptly gave up three hits (including a double to Negron, who was a triple shy of the cycle for the night) and was charged with three earned runs. He got a lot done in one-third of an inning. Marc Rzepcynski finished out the 7th and Kyle Crockett pitched a scoreless 8th, but Reds had already done 8 runs worth of damage.
Mat Latos held the Cleveland offense to just three hits and no runs during the first seven innings. If your name wasn’t Jason Kipnis or David Murphy, you couldn’t buy a hit until the 8th inning. That’s when Yan Gomes led off the inning with a solo home run to break up the shutout. Jason Kipnis (who went 3-4, so don’t blame him) singled and Mike Aviles walked to give the Indians two men on with two men out. Ryan Raburn, pinch-hitting for Rzepcynski (because it’s painful to watch pitchers bat) gave the Indians two more runs with a sharp double to centerfield, making the score 8-3. That little rally was all the Tribe had in their offensive tank–too little, too late.