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Dunn's mammoth three-run shot in ninth keeps Reds on hot streak

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Adam Dunn has a knack for breaking Indians' hearts.

Dunn's three-run homer in the ninth inning off Masahide Kobayashi powered the Cincinnati Reds to their season-high fifth straight victory Saturday, a 4-2 win that had a familiar feel for Cleveland's relievers.

They've had this Dunn to them before.

The outfielder hit a game-ending grand slam off Bob Wickman for a 9-8 victory at Great American Ball Park on June 30, 2006, the most dramatic ending in the intrastate series. This one will be high on the list, too.

"I love it -- I don't know why -- and especially with a packed house," Dunn said. "It's awesome."

Dunn's third homer in three games helped the Reds survive another shutdown pitching performance by Cleveland's Fausto Carmona, who turned a 2-1 lead over to a bullpen in transition.

Kobayashi (2-1) got a chance to close games after Rafael Betancourt struggled earlier in the week, costing him the job he had been given until Joe Borowski returns from a sore arm.

Kobayashi, who saved more than 200 games in Japan, opened the ninth by giving up a single to Joey Votto and hitting Edwin Encarnacion on the left leg with a pitch.

Dunn was told to try to advance the runners with a bunt, but fouled it off. He then latched onto a belt-high fastball, driving it deep into the seats in right field for his ninth homer.

"He actually is one of the best bunters on the team, believe it or not," manager Dusty Baker said. "We were trying to get the runners in scoring position, and he threw him a pitch he could hit. We're playing pretty good baseball now. Things are starting to go pretty good."

Dunn also drove in the winning run Friday night with a bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning of a 4-3 victory. Manager Eric Wedge had Betancourt warming in the bullpen on Saturday, but decided to let Kobayashi face Dunn with the game on the line.

"I wanted to throw a two-seamer (fastball), and I didn't think it was down," Kobayashi said through a translator. "I was trying to get it down. I was surprised he tried to bunt, but that didn't change my plan."

Bill Bray (1-0) pitched out of a scoring threat in the ninth to get the win in front of a crowd of 42,023, the first capacity crowd at the ballpark since opening day.

Until the bullpen meltdown, Carmona was in line for another impressive win. The right-hander allowed only Brandon Phillips's RBI single and four hits in 7 1/3 innings, a fitting follow-up to his last performance. Carmona threw his second career shutout against Toronto on Monday, a 3-0 win.

The Indians have four shutouts in their past eight games. Their starters have been nearly untouchable, allowing only four earned runs in their past 59 1/3 innings. The offense and the bullpen have been the problem.

"It's tough because you feel they are going to do the job," Carmona said through a translator. "I know how they feel. You want to win so bad for your team."

Cincinnati's Aaron Harang gave up eight hits in seven innings against the Indians' struggling lineup. Cleveland's .235 team batting average is last in the AL. The Indians stranded runners in scoring position in six innings.

Like Carmona, Harang was left with a no-decision because he got little help. The Reds have scored four or fewer runs in eight of his 10 starts.

"I'm not worried about it," said Harang, who is 2-5 with a 3.12 ERA. "I got out of a couple of jams and just kept plugging along."

Ben Francisco put Cleveland ahead 2-1 with a solo homer off David Weathers in the eighth, his third hit of the game. That set up another bunt-to-homer moment for the Reds: Encarnacion failed to get down a bunt in the ninth against Arizona on April 2, then swung away and hit a three-run homer for a 6-5 win, the Reds' first under Baker.

Carmona's shutout streak ended when Phillips singled home a run in the sixth, then did a little showing off. Phillips extended his right arm as he ran to first base, celebrating against the team that gave up on him two years ago.

On Friday night, Phillips lowered his left shoulder and did a skip to home plate after his two-run homer off Jeremy Sowers.

Notes

  • Borowski is scheduled to pitch an inning for Class A Lake County on a rehab assignment on Monday, then throw again on Wednesday. Borowski has been on the DL with a strained right triceps.
  • The final game of the series matches the ERA leaders in both leagues: Cleveland's Cliff Lee (0.67) and Cincinnati's Edinson Volquez (1.12). It will be only the third time that the leagues' ERA leaders faced off, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Mets' Al Leiter got the loss in a game June 26, 1998, against the Yankees' Hideki Irabu, who had a no-decision. Boston's Derek Lowe beat Atlanta's Tom Glavine 6-1 on June 16, 2002.
 
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 Indians should be thankful that Adam Dunn plays in the National League.  (AP)
The Indians should be thankful that Adam Dunn plays in the National League. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

A. Dunn
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Cleveland

B. Francisco
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4020110 .268
Jhonny Peralta, SS5010022 .221
David Dellucci, LF4010013 .229
Victor Martinez, C4010001 .320
Ben Francisco, RF4231001 .375
Ryan Garko, 1B4021012 .235
    Jamey Carroll, PR-3B^2B0000000 .172
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B4000004 .183
    Masahide Kobayashi, P0000000 .000
Casey Blake, 3B-1B^3B3000111 .223
Fausto Carmona, P3000012 .000
    Rafael Perez, P0000000 .000
    Michael Aubrey, 1B1000000 .000
Totals36210227  
Batting
2B - Victor Martinez (8, Harang), Ryan Garko (8, Harang)
HR - Ben Francisco (1, Weathers)
RBI - Ben Francisco (6), Ryan Garko (19)
SB - Grady Sizemore 2 (9, 2nd base off Harang/Bako, 2nd base off Bray/Bako), Ben Francisco (1, 2nd base off Harang/Bako)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Ryan Garko (3, Misplayed grounder), Jhonny Peralta 2 (5, Throwing)
Cleveland Indians
Fausto Carmona 7.1411040 2.25
Rafael Perez (H,6) 0.1000010 3.44
Masahide Kobayashi (BS,1; L,2-1) 0.1233001 3.20
HBP - Hairston (by Fausto Carmona), Encarnacion (by Masahide Kobayashi)
WP - Fausto Carmona (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Fausto Carmona 99-69, Rafael Perez 6-3, Masahide Kobayashi 16-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Fausto Carmona 17-3
Batters Faced - Fausto Carmona 29, Rafael Perez 1, Masahide Kobayashi 4
Cincinnati Reds
Corey Patterson, CF4000000 .227
Jerry Hairston Jr., SS3110000 .347
Ken Griffey Jr., RF4000012 .245
Brandon Phillips, 2B4021001 .294
Joey Votto, 1B4110003 .274
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B3110010 .255
Adam Dunn, LF4113011 .211
Paul Bako, C3000012 .284
Aaron Harang, P2000011 .238
   a- Scott Hatteberg, PH1000001 .196
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
    Bill Bray, P0000000 .000
Totals3246405  
a-grounded out for Harang in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jerry Hairston Jr. (6, Carmona)
HR - Adam Dunn (9, Kobayashi)
RBI - Brandon Phillips (22), Adam Dunn 3 (25)
2-OUT RBI - Brandon Phillips (5)
SB - Jerry Hairston Jr. (4, 2nd base off Kobayashi/Martinez)
CS - Jerry Hairston Jr. (2, 2nd base by R. Perez/Martinez)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - B. Phillips-Hairston-Votto
Cincinnati Reds
Aaron Harang 7811150 3.12
David Weathers 1211001 4.50
Bill Bray (W,1-0) 1000120 4.26
IBB - Blake by Aaron Harang
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 101-65, David Weathers 13-8, Bill Bray 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 6-10, David Weathers 1-1
Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 30, David Weathers 4, Bill Bray 4
Game Information
Attendance - 42023
Game Time - 2:51
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Marvin Hudson