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Tribe thrives at plate in Ohio Cup opener

May 16, 2016

CLEVELAND -- The Indians were able to overcome an early deficit with an overwhelming offensive outpouring on Monday night at Progressive Field, topping the Reds 15-6 in the series opener in the annual Ohio Cup. Cleveland's comeback erased some offensive fireworks from Cincinnati's offense.Cincinnati jumped out to a 4-0 advantage

CLEVELAND -- The Indians were able to overcome an early deficit with an overwhelming offensive outpouring on Monday night at Progressive Field, topping the Reds 15-6 in the series opener in the annual Ohio Cup. Cleveland's comeback erased some offensive fireworks from Cincinnati's offense.
Cincinnati jumped out to a 4-0 advantage by the third inning, with three of those runs coming by virtue of the long ball. Outfielder Adam Duvall, who came into the series hitting .395 with four home runs and nine RBIs in his last 11 games, blasted a solo shot in the second. Eugenio Suarez then launched a two-run homer in the third.
After recording just one hit through the first two innings against Reds lefty John Lamb, the Tribe then struck for seven runs on nine hits across the third and fourth frames. Francisco Lindor (two-run double in the third), Jason Kipnis (two-run single in the fourth) and Mike Napoli (an RBI single in each inning) powered Cleveland's offense during that outburst. Yan Gomes and Marlon Byrd later added a home run apiece in a five-run sixth for the Indians.

"That was good for a number of reasons," Indians manager Terry Francona said of the lopsided win. "A lot of guys relaxed a bit. It was real good. We could always use those kind of games."
Lamb exited after just four innings, in which he gave up seven runs on 10 hits, seven of which were singles. He walked a pair and struck out one en route to his first loss of the season. The Reds' pitching staff as a whole allowed a season-high 19 hits.
Lamb on tough loss: 'I couldn't slow it down'
"Tough night for everybody. Nothing came easy tonight," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "You know what? They got really comfortable. There were 25 baserunners. We were averaging three runners an inning. You go from a 4-0 game to 15-6. There were a lot of things that didn't work terribly well today. More than anything, their hitters were comfortable."
However, Tribe starter Cody Anderson didn't fare much better, as the sophomore righty allowed two dingers by the Reds. Anderson was charged with six runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings, representing the fourth time in six starts this year that he has given up at least five runs.
Early deficit erased: The Indians scored four runs in the third inning to climb out of the hole. They did so on five hits, four of which were singles. It was an encouraging feat for the Tribe, as it helped the club collect its fourth win in 15 tries when the opposition gets on the board first.

Bruce battles for two-run single: With first base open and one out in the top of the fifth, the Indians intentionally walked Brandon Phillips to face Jay Bruce. Lefty Kyle Crockett entered and in an eight-pitch at-bat, Bruce fouled off six pitches -- including four in a row. Bruce was able to lift a ball to short left field for a two-run blooped single that cut the Cleveland lead to 7-6.

Yan goes yard: Gomes blasted a three-run shot to right-center field in the sixth inning to cushion the Indians' lead, 10-6, at the time. With that blast, Gomes has a home run in each of his past three games. It marks the first time he has accomplished such a feat in his career. Zach Walters (Aug. 20-22, 2014) was the last player to homer in three straight games for Cleveland.

"I know I can hit," said Gomes, who was in a 2-for-42 slump before his past three games. "It's just one of those things that my confidence has definitely got ahold of me. When you look up there and you're not seeing the numbers you're really wanting to put up, it definitely gets frustrating. But it's just a matter of putting in the work before and letting it work out in the game."
Gomes on offensive outpouring: 'We needed that'
Suarez goes deep again: Suarez now has a four-game hitting streak and is 7-for-18 (.389) for the road trip. He hit homers in back-to-back games for the third time in 2016. His two-run shot in the third on Anderson's first pitch cleared the fence in right-center field and gave him the team lead with eight homers this season.
"It's been maddening from the first week of the season. Baseball is not played this way, at least not from a pitching standpoint. We're going to play with our cards. These are our cards that we're going to play, and we're going to play them as best as we can. We've got a 25-man roster, and we're going to find ways to get everybody out there and play until we make some adjustments to the roster. Until then, we'll play with the hand we're dealt." -- Price, frustrated by the six walks allowed, increasing the team's league lead
Home runs have been a consistent issue so far for Anderson. After allowing nine homers in 91 1/3 innings as a rookie last season, the big right-hander has given up 10 dingers in 32 2/3 innings this year. Anderson's rate of 2.8 homers allowed per nine innings is the second-highest among American League pitchers with at least 30 innings this season.
On Kipnis' go-ahead single in the fourth, home-plate umpire Paul Emmel initially called Rajai Davis out at the plate for an inning-ending out. Davis sprinted all the way around from first base and dragged his foot across the plate as Reds catcher Ramon Cabrera tried to apply the tag. The Indians challenged the out ruling and, following a replay review lasting one minute and 32 seconds, the call was overturned. Replays showed that Cabrera just missed tagging Davis on the back as the runner slid in safely. Kipnis was rewarded with a two-run single that gave Cleveland a 6-4 advantage.

"Rajai wanted to slide, but he got his feet mixed up," Francona said. "He actually did a great job touching the plate. Such a heads up job. … That was a big play in the game."
Reds: The series continues at 6:10 p.m. ET Tuesday with Alfredo Simon on the mound. Since a rough beginning to his season, Simon is coming off back-to-back quality starts. Center fielder Billy Hamilton is also expected to be back in the starting lineup.
Indians: Right-hander Danny Salazar (3-2, 1.90 ERA) will start against the Reds on Tuesday at Progressive Field. Salazar's last outing was his second shortest of the year, but he still punched out a season high 10 batters over five innings in the no-decision at Houston. He has held opposing teams to a .151 batting average in seven starts.
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Shane Jackson is a reporter for based in Cleveland.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.