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Indians take opener from Reds, win 4th straight

MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- The Indians offense came alive for 11 hits and eight walks in a 7-3 victory in the series opener against Cincinnati on Friday night at Progressive Field.

Indians starter Carlos Carrasco struck out seven over six innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits and two walks. Reds starter Mike Leake struggled through four innings, allowing five earned runs on seven hits, five walks and a homer. He didn't strike out a batter for the first time in his career as a starter.

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CLEVELAND -- The Indians offense came alive for 11 hits and eight walks in a 7-3 victory in the series opener against Cincinnati on Friday night at Progressive Field.

Indians starter Carlos Carrasco struck out seven over six innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits and two walks. Reds starter Mike Leake struggled through four innings, allowing five earned runs on seven hits, five walks and a homer. He didn't strike out a batter for the first time in his career as a starter.

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The Reds struck first, when Jay Bruce doubled Brayan Pena to third after a second-inning walk and Billy Hamilton followed with an RBI groundout. But the second inning was when Leake lost his command, walking three batters and allowing two runs, as the Indians sent eight batters to the plate.

Video: CIN@CLE: Bourn walks with bases loaded to score run

A quick response to the two-run second followed when the Reds led off the third with a double by Brandon Phillips, who was later driven in by Todd Frazier to tie the score at 2.

But a Brandon Moss homer to lead off the third and a two-run Moss double in the fourth added to the damage, and Leake endured his shortest outing since Sept. 4, 2014.

"Early on [in the season], it seemed like when we would hit, we would always be playing from behind or when we would pitch, we would get guys on base all day, but wouldn't get anybody in," Moss said. "It was one of those things where you know all season it can't keep going like that. You're eventually going to put two and two together."

Video: CIN@CLE: Kipnis drives in Perez on single to center

Indians relievers Nick Hagadone, Zach McAllister and Scott Atchison combined for three solid innings to follow up Carrasco's performance.

The Indians have won six of their last eight, and the Reds extended their season-high losing streak to six games.

"We need to do everything better than we have in this streak," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It will end and things will get better. But when you're in it, it's the worst. It's a terrible feeling. You take nothing good home with you. You lose sleep and you come home and try to grind it out the next day. Have that feel-good win and that's what we'll do tomorrow."

Video: CIN@CLE: Carrasco strikes out seven in six innings

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Patience pays: The 7-8-9 hitters in the Indians order drew three consecutive walks to get on the board in a two-run second inning. Michael Bourn's walk with the bases loaded was already the second time he's done so this season. It was the first time in Leake's career that he's walked three consecutive batters. An RBI single by Jason Kipnis after the Bourn walk added insult to injury.

"I'd much rather have the opportunity to score, even though it can be frustrating, but we got right back after them and gave ourselves more opportunities," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Again, we want to be perfect always with runners in scoring position -- everybody does -- but when you're not, next best thing is, 'OK, let's come back the next inning or the inning after that and try it again.'"

Video: CIN@CLE: Kipnis drives in Ramirez on single to center

Bruce extends hit streak: In the top of the second inning, Bruce extended his season-high hitting streak to five games with a double through the gap in right-center field. It set up the Reds' first run when Pena scored from third base on Hamilton's groundout. While going 2-for-2 with two walks, Bruce notched a second hit with a one-out single in the seventh inning. He is 9-for-18 during his hit streak.

Moss mashing: After the Reds struck back with a run in the top of the third to tie the score at 2, it took Moss just one pitch to put the Indians back ahead. Moss turned on a sinker and deposited it into the right-field seats for his team-leading seventh home run of the year. The following inning, Moss blew things open with a two-out, two-run double, making the score 5-2.

"I would say he's been everything that we thought we were gonna get -- or hoped," Francona said. "Early on, you're going to get some strikeouts -- there's some swing and misses -- but he goes up there aggressive. It seems like he takes so many good swings that at some point, you're going to see some pretty loud contact. I mean, early in the game he just missed one and then he ends up just hammering two balls." More >

Video: CIN@CLE: Moss belts a solo home run off Leake

QUOTABLE

"We're working on this stuff constantly. Anybody that wants to show up in the clubhouse at 11 o'clock in the morning and see the type of work that a lot of our guys are doing, especially the pitching and hitting guys in preparation, not only for our opponent, but helping our guys get better. … It's just not happening right now. A large part of that's on me because I've been given the task of putting the puzzle pieces together and I'm not doing a very good job of it. It's a team that should be playing better than we are." -- Price, on his team trying to turn it around.

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS

During their six-game losing streak, the Reds rotation is 0-6 with an 11.57 ERA. That's 33 runs allowed over its last 25 2/3 innings.

WHAT'S NEXT

Reds: Anthony DeSclafani will make the start for the Reds when they face the Indians again on Saturday at 4:10 p.m. ET. DeSclafani is seeking to get his footing again as he is 0-4 with a 6.38 ERA over his last five starts.

Indians: Corey Kluber (1-5, 3.79 ERA) looks to continue his historic stretch, after having struck out 30 batters in his previous two starts. He needs 12 strikeouts to break the franchise record for most strikeouts in a three-game stretch, 41, set by Luis Tiant in 1968.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scott Atchison, Michael Bourn, Jay Bruce, Carlos Carrasco, Todd Frazier, Nick Hagadone, Billy Hamilton, Jason Kipnis, Mike Leake, Zach McAllister, Brandon Moss, Brayan Pena, Brandon Phillips