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Cleveland at Cincinnati

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Cleveland (44-37) «003000000380
Cincinnati (42-42)000000010191

Indians 3, Reds 1

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Indians reliever Joe Smith answered the compliment with a question.

"We were the stars?" he said.

Yes. And never brighter.

Frank Herrmann took over after Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona took a tumble on Saturday, pitching three innings for his first big league win, and the rest of the Indians' bullpen followed his lead for a 3-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The bullpen has been the foundation for Cleveland's surprising season -- a slim lead in the AL Central at the midpoint.

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"It's not a secret that those guys are good," manager Manny Acta said. "We've got three or four guys with ERAs below 2.00."

Good numbers indeed. So are the Indians' numbers against their intrastate rival -- 5-0, one win away from the first sweep in the interleague series' history.

More important is the way Cleveland has started July. After going 10-17 in June, the Indians are 2-0 in the new month.

"It can't get any worse than it got in June," Acta said. "We're moving forward now."

Michael Brantley hit a three-run homer in Cleveland's strange third inning against Homer Bailey (3-3), one that put them ahead and cost them a pitcher. Carmona fell hard while running out a grounder, leaving the game with a strained right thigh.

Carmona had bandages on his forearm and thigh, and two fingers on his pitching hand were taped together after the game. He smiled and declined to talk about his tumble, which seemed like nothing more than a blooper at first.

"The way he went out, we were kind of laughing," Smith said. "Then we found out (he was hurt). It stinks when your starter goes out, but our bullpen is tough."

Herrmann (1-0) retired nine of the 10 batters he faced, a good showing considering he hadn't pitched since June 20.

"I was definitely fresh today," he said. "Not pitching in 11 days, it's not easy. That's the first time I really tried to do that in my life."

Smith struck out Brandon Phillips with the bases loaded in the seventh, extending his streak to 19 scoreless appearances. Joey Votto homered in the eighth off left-hander Tony Sipp. Vinnie Pestano escaped a two-on threat in the ninth, fanning Scott Rolen for his first save in four tries.

It's the first time that Cleveland has won five games in a season series against Cincinnati. No team has swept the season series, which started in 1997. The Reds went 5-1 in 2008.

The defending NL Central champions will be glad to be done with interleague play. The Reds have struggled mightily against the American League, going 5-12. Cleveland is 11-6 against the NL.

"Our total game's not in sync," manager Dusty Baker said. "We're having trouble getting that big hit. We had them in a lot of jams -- a lot of opportunities."

Carmona was shaken up following his chest-first tumble. He was the Indians' lone All-Star last season, but has fallen on hard times, tying for the major league lead in losses at 4-10. One bad step cost him a chance to get his season turned around.

Lou Marson singled before Carmona grounded to third baseman Rolen, who threw to second to try to start a double play. Shortstop Paul Janish pulled his foot off the base as he reached for the throw, an error that left Marson safe.

Carmona was running hard down the line to beat the anticipated relay and tripped a few feet from the base, sending him sprawling. He got up, stretched his right thigh and pitching hand, talked to Acta and walked off the field.

Brantley followed with a drive into the Indians' bullpen, where Herrmann was starting to warm up to replace Carmona. It was Brantley's first homer since June 6.

"I didn't think it was going to be the last runs we scored," Brantley said.

Notes

The first two games of the series sold out. Cincinnati has sold out eight games this season. ... Three umpires worked the top of the first inning because Derryl Cousins was ill. He took his spot at third base for the bottom of the inning. ... The Indians expect closer Chris Perez back Sunday from his grandmother's funeral in Florida. ... Pestano's last save came on Sept. 26. ... Herrmann got the win in his 55th major league appearance. ... Indians OF Travis Buck was diagnosed with a mild strain of his left hamstring, suffered during Friday night's game. He's expected back in a couple of days.

 
Copyright 2015 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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Players of the Game
Cleveland

M. Brantley
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Cincinnati

J. Votto
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Cleveland Indians
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Brantley, LF4113002 .266
Orlando Cabrera, 2B4020000 .263
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS4010032 .294
Carlos Santana, 1B4010012 .230
Grady Sizemore, CF4000022 .227
Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B4010010 .313
    Tony Sipp, P0000000 .000
    Chad Durbin, P0000000 .000
    Vinnie Pestano, P0000000 .000
Austin Kearns, RF3010110 .196
Lou Marson, C4110013 .235
Fausto Carmona, P1000000 .000
    Josh Tomlin, PR01000001.000
    Frank Herrmann, P1000001 .000
    Rafael Perez, P0000000 .000
   a- Cord Phelps, PH1000000 .214
    Joe Smith, P0000000 .000
    Jack Hannahan, 3B1000010 .214
Totals35383110  
a-lined out for R. Perez in the 7th
Batting
2B - Carlos Santana (15, Bailey)
HR - Michael Brantley (6, Bailey)
RBI - Michael Brantley 3 (32)
Team LOB - 6
Cleveland Indians
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Fausto Carmona 2200010 5.78
Frank Herrmann (W,1-0) 3100020 4.44
Rafael Perez (H,7) 1100010 1.60
Joe Smith (H,4) 1200120 0.99
Tony Sipp (H,16) 0.1211111 2.65
Chad Durbin (H,1) 0.2000010 6.61
Vinnie Pestano (S,1) 1100130 1.47
HBP - Hanigan (by Fausto Carmona)
Pitches-Strikes - Fausto Carmona 30-16, Frank Herrmann 45-33, Rafael Perez 14-11, Joe Smith 29-18, Tony Sipp 18-9, Chad Durbin 11-7, Vinnie Pestano 20-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Fausto Carmona 5-0, Frank Herrmann 5-2, Rafael Perez 2-0, Joe Smith 1-0
Batters Faced - Fausto Carmona 9, Frank Herrmann 10, Rafael Perez 4, Joe Smith 6, Tony Sipp 4, Chad Durbin 2, Vinnie Pestano 5
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Drew Stubbs, CF4010124 .253
Brandon Phillips, 2B5000024 .296
Joey Votto, 1B5121011 .316
Scott Rolen, 3B5020013 .256
Jay Bruce, RF4010012 .267
Jonny Gomes, LF2000211 .222
    Logan Ondrusek, P0000000 .000
Ryan Hanigan, C3000013 .248
Paul Janish, SS2010001 .228
   a- Fred Lewis, PH1010000 .283
    Bill Bray, P0000000 .000
   b- Chris Heisey, PH-LF1000012 .262
Homer Bailey, P1000002 .200
   c- Edgar Renteria, PH-SS2010010 .228
Totals35191311  
a-singled for Janish in the 7th
b-struck out for Bray in the 8th
c-singled for Bailey in the 7th
Batting
2B - Scott Rolen 2 (18, R. Perez, Sipp)
HR - Joey Votto (12, Sipp)
SH - Homer Bailey (1)
RBI - Joey Votto (51)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Bailey-Votto
E - Paul Janish (8, Missed catch of throw)
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Homer Bailey (L,3-3) 7832171 3.64
Bill Bray 1000020 1.59
Logan Ondrusek 1000010 1.79
Pitches-Strikes - Homer Bailey 105-77, Bill Bray 14-9, Logan Ondrusek 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Homer Bailey 8-6, Logan Ondrusek 1-1
Batters Faced - Homer Bailey 30, Bill Bray 3, Logan Ondrusek 3
Game Information
Attendance - 41580
Game Time - 3:14
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - John Tumpane, Third Base - Derryl Cousins