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Indians get impressive outing from Byrd in victory over Reds

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- Paul Byrd sees signs of life in the Cleveland Indians.

Byrd pitched eight shutout innings while Todd Hollandsworth and Grady Sizemore both homered to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 4-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.

"We had a little more enthusiasm," said Byrd (6-5). "I think we can get on a roll. We have the type of team that can win 16 of 17. We can do that. I'm not saying it will happen, but it can."

The Indians will need more performances like Byrd's dominant outing in order to get back into the AL Central race. Cleveland entered play five games behind third-place Minnesota and 16 in back of division leader Detroit.

"I think we can get on a roll," Byrd said. "The Angels in 2002 were sitting around .500 at the All-Star break and wound up winning it all."

Byrd (6-5) improved to 2-3 in nine starts since May 3 with his longest outing since signing with Cleveland as a free agent in December. The right-hander gave up five hits and struck out four without a walk. He has pitched at least six innings in 10 consecutive starts and has a 2.44 ERA over his last seven.

"He stepped up big," said manager Eric Wedge. "He's an intense competitor and I can't say enough about the way he's pitching right now.

"We need more guys to be honest with themselves and pick it up. I'm sick of talking about it. I want to see them go out and do it."

Bob Wickman worked a perfect ninth to complete the five-hitter as Cleveland won for only the second time in eight games -- all in interleague play. The Reds fell to 4-11 since June 9, but lost for only the third time in their last 13 road games.

"Offensively, you'll see a lot of zeroes in the box score, but we hit a lot of balls right at them," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "I guess I'd rather have bloops than hard ones and get the win."

Hollandsworth put Cleveland ahead with a two-out, two-run homer in the second inning off Bronson Arroyo (9-4). Victor Martinez drew a one-out walk and Hollandsworth broke an 0-for-10 slump by lining a 3-2 pitch just over the wall in right for his second homer.

"I had good stuff, my sinker was exceptional today, but Hollandsworth's home run hurt us," Arroyo said.

Byrd said getting the lead gave him a boost.

"These guys have scored a lot of runs for me this year and today was my turn to pick them up," he said. "Attitude has so much to do with (success) in this game. At times, you feel snakebit and are playing not to lose instead of playing to win.

"With a 2-0 lead, I had the option of going out and trying not to walk people or stay aggressive and go after them. I tried to throw strikes and stay ahead."

That was the Indians' only hit until Jhonny Peralta opened the fourth with a soft single to left and went to third on a double to left-center by Travis Hafner. Peralta scored on a groundout by Martinez to make it 3-0.

Arroyo, coming off a 116-pitch complete game win over the Mets on Monday, allowed three runs and five hits over six innings. The right-hander walked two, struck out four and was helped out of trouble in the sixth by a diving catch by centerfielder Ryan Freel.

With runners on first and third and two outs, Hollandsworth hit 3-2 pitch to shallow center. Freel, who had gone 5-for-5 at the plate and made two good defensive plays at third base in the Reds' 3-0 win Friday night, raced in and made a backhanded dive. He jumped up with the ball in his glove, but television replays showed the ball skipped off the turf before Freel got to it.

"I couldn't tell if I caught it or not," Freel said. "I thought it hit my thumb and rolled in (to his glove)."

Sizemore hit his 14th homer, on a 2-1 pitch from reliever Kent Mercker in the seventh to make it 4-0.

Notes

  • The Reds have not defeated their state rivals in a series since taking two of three in the first year of interleague play in 1997. Cleveland has gone 5-0-2 against the Reds since.
  • Cleveland has pitched seven shutouts and been blanked five times this season.
  • Freel was 1-for-4 and is hitting .515 (17-for-33) in his last seven road games.
  • Twelve of Sizemore's 14 homers have come with the bases empty.
  • Ben Broussard was back in the lineup at first base after being benched for one day. He went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position, dropping his average in that situation to .377 (20-for-53).
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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The frustration that Kent Mercker feels is evident after he gives up a solo homer to Grady Sizemore.  (AP)
The frustration that Kent Mercker feels is evident after he gives up a solo homer to Grady Sizemore. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

T. Hollandsworth
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Cleveland

P. Byrd
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 0
K 4
 

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Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, CF4010012 .307
Felipe Lopez, SS4000002 .265
Ken Griffey Jr., DH4020000 .258
Rich Aurilia, 3B4000012 .257
Adam Dunn, LF4000011 .221
Scott Hatteberg, 1B3000001 .288
Austin Kearns, RF3000020 .272
Brandon Phillips, 2B3010000 .313
David Ross, C3010001 .326
Totals32050059 
Batting
2B - Ryan Freel (16, Byrd)
Team LOB - 5
Cincinnati Reds
Bronson Arroyo (L,9-4) 6533241 2.58
Kent Mercker 1111001 6.35
David Weathers 1100010 5.40
Pitches-Strikes - Bronson Arroyo 114-68, Kent Mercker 15-8, David Weathers 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bronson Arroyo 5-9, Kent Mercker 1-2, David Weathers 1-1
Batters Faced - Bronson Arroyo 25, Kent Mercker 4, David Weathers 4
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF3111100 .298
Ron Belliard, 2B4000011 .284
Jhonny Peralta, SS4120000 .254
Travis Hafner, DH4020001 .306
Victor Martinez, C3111111 .296
Ben Broussard, 1B4000025 .326
Todd Hollandsworth, RF-LF3112003 .198
Aaron Boone, 3B3000010 .261
Joe Inglett, LF2000000 .000
   a- Franklin Gutierrez, PH-RF1000000 .115
Totals314742511 
a-flied out for Inglett in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jhonny Peralta (16, Weathers), Travis Hafner (15, Arroyo)
HR - Grady Sizemore (14, Mercker), Todd Hollandsworth (2, Arroyo)
RBI - Grady Sizemore (36), Victor Martinez (47), Todd Hollandsworth 2 (12)
2-OUT RBI - Grady Sizemore (17), Todd Hollandsworth 2 (8)
Team LOB - 5
Cleveland Indians
Paul Byrd (W,6-5) 8500040 4.37
Bob Wickman 1000010 3.32
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Byrd 113-81, Bob Wickman 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 4-16
Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 29, Bob Wickman 3
Game Information
Attendance - 33072
Game Time - 2:31
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Ed Rapuano, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Jim Wolf, Third Base - Joe West