CINCINNATI -- Alex Gonzalez took advantage of his second chance to be a hero in extra innings.
"Today I got the opportunity again and made it," Gonzalez said. "It is special."
The teams played 23 innings in fewer than 24 hours. The Indians won 8-6 in 11 innings Saturday night, and in that game, Gonzalez was robbed of his chance to break a 6-6 tie in the 10th. Indians outfielder Franklin Gutierrez crashed the right field wall to snare Gonzalez's deep fly ball that could have won the game.
On Sunday, Reds starter Aaron Harang held the Indians in check for seven innings, and the highly suspect Reds bullpen had one of its best outings as five relievers kept Cleveland scoreless the rest of the way.
Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia, bidding to become the majors' first 10-game winner, stifled the Reds through nine innings on three hits and one walk. He struck out six.
A defensive play by Josh Hamilton saved the game for the Reds. Marcus McBeth (0-1) got his first big league victory thanks to Hamilton's effort in the top of the 10th. Pinch runner Jason Michaels had gone to third on a passed ball, but Gutierrez flied to center and Hamilton threw out Michaels trying to score.
"You try to be even-keeled, but I was backing up home plate when he threw that guy out, and I was shouting and pumping my fist," McBeth said. "Right man, right spot, right time."
Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said it was a situation where Michaels had to be sent home.
"He (Gutierrez) didn't hit it well, but you hope for a bad throw," Wedge said. "When you play that long, you have to try."
Pinch hitter Chad Moeller started the 10th-inning rally with a one-out double, and Edwin Encarnacion was walked intentionally. Hamilton filed out, and Gonzalez singled up the middle, driving in Moeller.
He had just broken a 0-for-13 slump an inning earlier.
Although Gonzalez singled off Matt Miller, the run was charged to Aaron Fultz (3-1). It was his first loss since Aug. 31, at Washington, a span of 37 appearances.
"Without a doubt, it was our worst offensive performance-slash-effort of the year," Wedge said. "When you have the right approach, at least you have a chance. I didn't see that one time today.
"Our offense is better than this. You can get by with one guy not having a good approach, but not the whole team."
Sabathia, coming off his fifth career shutout, allowed just two hits -- doubles to Encarnacion and Adam Dunn -- through eight innings. Both were stranded at second.
"It was a tough loss," Sabathia said. "It's disappointing that we lost. That's more important than my own personal numbers."
The last time a game went into the 12th inning without a run was April 11, when the Detroit Tigers beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-1, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. All the runs came in the final frame.
- Indians 3B Casey Blake doubled in his first at bat, extending his career-high hitting streak to 19 games. That's Cleveland's longest streak since Marty Cordova hit in 22 straight in 2001.
- LHP Jeremy Sowers was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo the day after allowing five runs in four innings. Sowers (1-6) had a 6.93 ERA in 12 starts. The Indians recalled RHP Matt Miller.
- Ken Griffey Jr., who had homered in three consecutive games -- getting his 578th Saturday night -- did not start but pinch hit in the 11th.
- Sabathia singled twice. He leads all active AL pitchers in hits with 11.
- The Reds honored long-time broadcasters Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall and the late Waite Hoyt before the game.