Reds rookie Antone draws start vs. Indians

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After splitting two games in Cincinnati to open the week, the Reds and Indians are set for two more in Cleveland.

The Indians will look for a second straight win over the Reds on Wednesday night, and Cleveland will have a big edge in experience when it comes to the pitching matchup. Indians veteran right-hander Mike Clevinger will oppose Reds rookie right-hander Tejay Antone.

Down 2-0 on Tuesday, the Indians rallied to tie the game with two runs in the seventh inning. In the eighth, Franmil Reyes clubbed a two-run homer that put the visitors up 4-2, which proved to be the final score.

The victory ended a four-game slide for Cleveland, which had totaled six runs while losing five of the previous six contests. Though it was not an offensive breakout and the Indians managed just three hits, Tuesday’s effort might be enough for Cleveland to start stringing some wins together.

“We know those bats are going to come around,” starting pitcher Zach Plesac said. “We’re in a great spot. We’re going to catch fire soon.”

The Reds saw their three-game winning streak end. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, Cincinnati is 7-19 against the Indians.

The Reds announced after Tuesday’s game that their starter on Wednesday would be Antone, who will be making his second appearance in the majors and his first start.

Luis Castillo was expected to get the start, but he will go Thursday in Cleveland. Trevor Bauer, who has expressed his desire to pitch on three days’ rest, instead will stay on four days’ rest when he pitches Friday in Milwaukee.

Antone made his major league debut on July 27 against the Chicago Cubs. Pitching in relief, he went 4 1/3 innings and gave up just one run and one hit, a home run by Anthony Rizzo.

The Texas native the Reds’ fifth-round draft choice in 2014, and he made stops in Triple-A Louisville and Double-A Chattanooga last season, going 11-12 with a 4.00 ERA in 27 games, all but one of them as a starter.

Despite his debut in relief, when he made 69 pitches, Antone said he’s ready to make the start.

“This is my domain now,” he said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “This is what I’m used to. This is what I’ve done for the past six years of my pro career.

He added that when he found out he would get the start, “I was almost more relieved. I’ll do anything for this team, whatever role they need me, but I’m very excited to start.”

It’s been a rather inconsistent opening for Clevinger (0-1, 4.91 ERA). The eccentric right-hander yielded two runs in seven innings against Kansas City in his first 2020 start, then was tagged for four while allowing six hits and walking five over four innings of a 4-1 loss at Minnesota on Friday. Clevinger has served up four home runs already in 2020.

“I think the biggest difficulty with me is I like to get after it,” Clevinger said. “I like to go. I want to see change.”

He has not been all that good against the Reds, going 1-1 with a 6.06 ERA in three starts. Cincinnati’s Joey Votto is 3-for-8 with a homer and two double versus Clevinger while Tucker Barnhart is 3-for-6 for a double and home run against him.

Cincinnati’s Nick Castellanos is 3-for-19 opposing Clevinger, but he is batting .368 while clubbing all six of his homers this season over the past seven contests. It’s uncertain if Castellanos’ teammate Mike Moustakas will be available after he left the Tuesday game with a bruised quad.

The Indians are likely to again be without manager Terry Francona, who is dealing with a gastrointestinal issue that the club believes is not related to COVID-19.

–Field Level Media

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