Scott Kazmir pitched dominantly through seven innings and the Tribe exploded for all of their seven runs in the 4th inning en route to a 7-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Kazmir (3-2, 5.13 ERA) was about as electric as a fifth starter could be, allowing eight hits, one walk, one earned run and striking out five over his seven innings in only 93 pitches.  Of those 93 pitches, 71% were thrown for strikes.  His fastball was consistently reaching 95-96 mph, and his cutter and off-speed stuff were also a plus tonight. This was Kazmir’s longest outing since May 22, 2010.  Kazmir has averaged 7.5 runs of support so far this season and that support came up big in the 4th inning.

With the score knotted at 0 and runners at first and second and two outs, Michael Brantley, Yan Gomes, Ryan Raburn, Michael Bourn, Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera (in his second plate appearance of the inning) all consecutively had RBI hits that resulted in all of the seven runs for the Tribe.  11 batters went to the plate for the Tribe in the 4th inning, and the seven runs with two outs increased the Indians league-leading number of two-out runs to 119.  Yan Gomes was a big positive tonight for the Indians, going 3-4 with an RBI, showing that he deserves a frequent spot in the batting order.

Homer Bailey (3-4, 3.84 ERA) had five strikeouts through 3.2 innings before imploding in the fourth.  This was Homer Bailey’s shortest outing of the season, going 3.2 innings while allowing seven runs (all earned) on seven hits with one walk, one hit by pitch and five strikeouts.  Alfredo Simon, JJ Hoover, and Manny Parra combined to hold the Indians scoreless throughout the rest of the game.

The Reds’ only run came on a Jay Bruce single in the sixth that followed a Brandon Phillips double.  That double raised Phillips’ average to .357 against his former team.  Kazmir did run into trouble in the top of the third inning, when he allowed three singles to Derrick Robinson, Shin-Soo Choo, and Cesar Izturis to load the bases for Joey Votto.  Kazmir was able to force Votto into a 4-6-3 double play to escape the inning unscathed.

Nick Hagadone and Matt Albers pitched the eighth and ninth innings respectively, two relievers who have had recent struggles.  Both pitched perfect innings.

Rightfielder Ryan Raburn left the game in the fifth inning with a lower leg cramp and was replaced by Drew Stubbs.  Raburn finished with an RBI double and a walk in his two plate appearances.  Also, Asdrubal Cabrera appears to be still nursing a quadricep injury, as his baserunning was more gingerly than usual.

In other news around the MLB, Alex Colome became the second Rays pitcher to not allowing an earned run in his debut, the other being Indians righthander Scott Kazmir.

The Indians begin a three game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday as Corey Kluber (3-3, 4.57 ERA) will toe the mound against Rays ace Matt Moore (8-0, 2.21 ERA).  The game starts at 7:05 pm EST.

W – Scott Kazmir (3-2)

L – Homer Bailey (3-4)

A - 18,364

11 Comments

  • Steve Alex says:

    Kazmir has at times looked better than his 5+ ERA, but he looked really strong last night. With Trevor Bauer getting roughed up in Columbus and Myers hurt again/still, the team needs Kazmir to pitch well and he did. Now Tampa Bay is coming to town with their stable of aces. They can turn over a rock and pull out a dominant starting pitcher. They trade a good pitcher away every year and never miss a beat. Amazing.

  • Mark says:

    Did I miss the “retaliation” pitch that everyone was sure Francona would call in this series to even things up? There are no more games against the Reds this (regular) season.

    • Sean Porter says:

      I could be wrong, but in the next game Votto was on second base to lead off an inning and McAllister drilled Phillips (like Swisher, the Reds cleanup hitter) in the ribs. I think that “might” have been the payback.

  • DaveR says:

    The 7-run beatdown inning is a good enough retaliation for me. I like how Dusty Baker alluded to some kind of unfair activity involved in that inning being so big.

  • Jeremy says:

    It was great to come home and get the split against a very very good baseball team

  • shaun says:

    general thoughts towards trying to get gomes into the mix a bit more? hes batting .386 in may and he’s got a cannon when he’s behind the plate…santana has been a bit sloppy the past week or so and i think its because he’s playing hurt. certainly seems like he’s getting abused by the ball..

    • Drew says:

      Sweet Lou has rehabbed in AA on Thursday. He is now in Columbus for an unspecified time. Things are starting to click for the Indians again. I wouldn’t be surprised if they won the next two series.

    • Sean Porter says:

      I honestly think Gomes next year will catch the majority of games, with Santana being the “backup” catcher, playing some first base, and being the DH.

      Gomes is already in my mind the far superior catcher physically, and I think leadership-wise. He just has that “presence” that good catchers have.

  • powza says:

    Felt a bit sorry for Swisher in that 4th dig. He was the first and third out if anyone noticed.

  • David White says:

    I think Gomes should be our most frequent catcher and should be playing at least four times a week. When Chisenhall gets recalled (hopefully by the Nationals series), he should become more of a rotational bench player and pinch hitter, and his insertion at third base could give either Reynolds, Santana, Gomes or Swisher a blow.

    I like seeing Gomes bat eighth for now, sample size is too small to move him up in the order at all.

  • medfest says:

    Kazmir had a great fastball,only Bruce and Phillips really hit it hard all night.Getting Votto to hit into the DP was huge and was a nice example of pitch sequence.
    It seems like his command is getting sharper the more he pitches,he’s a big key to the Tribe’s chances to tame the Tigers.