CINCINNATI -- Throughout this season as Reds interim manager, Jim Riggleman has often used a quick hook on starting pitchers to get into his bullpen. But on Monday, Riggleman let Homer Bailey stick around for the sixth inning against the Indians in the Reds' 10-3 loss at Great American Ball Park.
Bailey had already navigated his way through multiple jams, survived some bad luck and never had a clean inning. After he escaped with the bases loaded in the fourth, Bailey had 90 pitches after a scoreless fifth. But Cleveland took over the game in the sixth, scoring seven runs in the frame. Pinch-hitter Yandy Diaz's RBI double off Bailey provided the go-ahead run in a 2-2 game.
"Ninety is nothing. He was throwing the ball good," Riggleman said. "Their pinch-hitter, the young guy, had a good at-bat for them. We tried to calm it down. The floodgates opened."
The sixth-inning trouble began when Greg Allen hit a one-out single to left field and stole second base. In a full count, Diaz followed with his pinch-hit RBI double off the left-field wall. Next came an intentional walk to Francisco Lindor before Riggleman removed Bailey in favor of lefty Amir Garrett.
"The last inning is the one that really got me. The ball kind of came out of my hand bad there on a 3-2 count [to Diaz]," Bailey said.
Garrett took over and could not snuff out the rally. Michael Brantley promptly launched an RBI double to right field. With the bases loaded and two outs, Melky Cabrera lined a two-run single to center field and Jason Kipnis drove a long double over Mason Williams' head in center field. Yan Gomes' RBI double punctuated the inning and made it a 9-2 game. The four runs allowed by Garrett were a career high for a relief appearance.
Bailey finished with five earned runs and 10 hits allowed over 5 1/3 innings with two walks (one intentional) and five strikeouts. Six of the hits came when he had two strikes on hitters.
"They put maybe solid contact on some of them," Bailey said. "Some of them just happened to find that hole. And I saw a lot of defensive swings that still made hits. They had a few very solid doubles too."
After Bailey had a 2.45 ERA over his first two strong starts in his return from the disabled list, he's now fared poorly in back-to-back games, with 10 earned runs and 21 hits over 8 2/3 innings.
One of the balls that found a hole came in the third inning with a 1-0 Reds lead. Brantley hit a single on the ground that snuck through the middle to set things up for Jose Ramirez. He pulled a 1-2 pitch that landed just inside the foul pole -- and just out of Phillip Ervin's reach -- for a two-run homer, his 35th.
"I wanted to come back in for a punchout. How he kept the ball fair, I don't know," Bailey said. "It's a little short down the lines. That guy is having a great season. When you're having that kind of a season, that's the stuff you do."
The fourth inning was fraught with trouble. A potential double-play grounder from Gomes was misplayed by shortstop Jose Peraza for an error that left everyone safe. Bailey then got crossed up with catcher Tucker Barnhart and stopped mid-windup for a balk call. A two-out walk to Lindor loaded the bases, but Bailey got Brantley to ground out and escape the danger.
"I don't remember the last time I balked," Bailey said. "As soon as I lifted my leg, I saw Tucker on the side of the plate that I didn't know he was going to be. That's just 100 percent on me. We were able to get through that inning and just keep making pitches."
Despite the outcome, Riggleman came away pleased with how Bailey pitched.
"I thought Homer really battled through some adversity," Riggleman said. "We made him throw a lot of extra pitches. He did a good job. He got charged with some runs there at the end. He really threw the ball good."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Home run No. 18 for Gennett: Leading off the fifth inning against Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger, Scooter Gennett hit a 1-1 pitch for a homer to right field to make it a 2-2 game, but Cleveland's big rally erased any thoughts of it being a close game into the late innings. The Reds had chances to do more vs. Clevinger, who gave up six walks in his five innings.
"Clevinger made the necessary pitches to get out of trouble," Riggleman said. "The game [had a] widespread margin, but was closer than the score indicates. But it's a loss nonetheless."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
The blowout had the Reds use four relief pitchers, but in a move toward bullpen preservation, Riggleman made an interesting decision in the ninth when he had right fielder Brandon Dixon move to the mound and pitch. Reliever Michael Lorenzen entered the game in right field for the first time in his pro career. Dixon pitched a 1-2-3 inning with one strikeout.
Riggleman didn't want Lorenzen to pitch after he worked an inning on Sunday vs. Arizona. He was also trying to avoid using Raisel Iglesias, Jared Hughes or David Hernandez.
"If we had made it 10-5, I was going to have Lorenzen pitch. Once it stayed 10-3, we made that decision," Riggleman said.
Dixon was the fourth different Reds position player to pitch this season.
Sal Romano is scheduled to pitch when the Reds meet the Indians at 7:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday at Great American Ball Park. Romano is coming off of a very strong six-inning performance in a 6-1 win over the Mets last Tuesday, where he gave up one earned run and only two hits with three walks and five strikeouts. He will be opposed by Cleveland's Corey Kluber, who is 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA in three career starts vs. Cincinnati.