CINCINNATI (AP)Shane Bieber overcame two solo home runs to pitch into the eighth inning, Franmil Reyes hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer and the Cleveland Indians snapped a four-game skid with a 4-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
Reyes capped the Indians’ comeback from a 2-0 deficit with his first homer of the season after hitting 37 with San Diego and Cleveland last year. He went into the game batting .171 but went deep in the eighth inning to right-center field against Nate Jones (0-1) following a leadoff walk by Carlos Santana.
Cleveland scored more than two runs in a game for the first time in seven games.
”We’re going to be all right,” Reyes said. ”We’re doing a very good job with the scouting reports. We’re about to start getting it. We’ve had tough days the past couple of days, but we’re going to be alright. We have a lot to give this year.”
The Indians played their third consecutive game without manager Terry Francona, who continues to undergo tests in Cleveland for a gastrointestinal condition. There is no timetable for his return. Sandy Alomar, normally the team’s first base and catching coach, is filling in for Francona.
The Indians scrounged just three hits but capitalized on six walks and an error.
They pushed across an unearned run in the seventh against Pedro Strop after Reyes reached on shortstop Freddy Galvis’s error to start the inning. Cesar Hernandez beat out an infield chopper to first baseman Joey Votto to drive in the first run. Reyes scored the tying run on Jose Ramirez’s walk.
”They kept moving the line,” Alomar said. ”It’s important to do that to put pressure on the defense and the pitching.”
”Not a lot of hard-hit balls,” Reds manager David Bell said. ”Obviously, the two-run homer was well-hit, but the walks hurt us and a couple of plays we typically make.”
Bieber (3-0) allowed a season-high five hits and two runs in 7 2/3 innings. He walked two with eight strikeouts. James Karinchak struck out Nick Castellanos to finish the eighth, and Brad Hand pitched the ninth for his third save.
Reds starter Tyler Mahle allowed one hit and two walks with six strikeouts in six innings. He also hit Francisco Lindor with a pitch before retiring the last 10 batters he faced.
”It was kind of a grind early, and then stuff started coming together, and we started getting quick outs” Mahle said. ”All the work we put in, it’s starting to show.”
Bieber’s season-opening streak of 14 consecutive scoreless innings over two games lasted two batters into his 15th frame before Castellanos’ drive glanced off the upper part of the black batter’s eye in center field. The homer, Castellanos’s fourth in the last three days, extended his season-opening hitting streak to 11 games.
Eugenio Suarez, who set the single-season record for home runs by a Venezuela native with 49 last season, powered his first of 2020 to center field on a 1-2 pitch with one out in the fourth inning.
KEEPING IT GOING
Castellanos extended his season-opening hitting streak to 11 games, Cincinnati’s longest since Hall-of-Famer Barry Larkin hit in his first 12 games of the 1995 season. It’s the longest season-opening streak by a batter to begin his Reds career since D’Angelo Jimenez opened with a 15-game streak in 2003.
Indians: OF Tyler Naquin continues to make progress in his recovery from a hairline fracture of his right big toe, but his return isn’t ”likely in the next couple of days,” team president Chris Antonelli said Tuesday.
Reds: 2B Mike Moustakas left the game after five innings with a bruised left quad. … CF Nick Senzel returned to the starting lineup after being scratched from Monday’s original starting lineup with a sprained left ring finger. He was hurt sliding into second base on Sunday in Detroit.
Indians: The Twins roughed up RHP Mike Clevinger (0-1) for six hits and four runs with five walks over four innings in a 4-1 loss on Friday.
Reds: RHP Tejay Antone will make his first major league start on Wednesday with RHP Luis Castillo (0-1) being pushed back to Thursday, Bell announced after the game.
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