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Cleveland Indians ride bases-loaded walks to win over Cincinnati Reds

By
Jeff Wallner, The Sports Xchange

CINCINNATI -- The Cleveland Indians still are looking for big hits in key situations, but they will take what they got Sunday afternoon.

"We had four walks and a sac fly," manager Terry Francona said. "That's an interesting way to score."

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The Indians, who stranded 18 runners, scored four runs on bases-loaded walks, including the go-ahead run in the 11th inning, during a 5-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the finale of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.

Catcher Yan Gomes drew a walk against right-hander Pedro Villarreal (1-3) with one out in the 11th to force in a run and make it 4-3. Second baseman Jason Kipnis added a sacrifice fly to put Cleveland ahead by two.

"We really worked ourselves to get into those types of situations," Gomes said. "It's not like we didn't take advantage of it. It shows that little bit of patient we have. Even I had a bases-loaded walk. That's not something I'm usually looking for."

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The last time the Indians drew four bases-loaded walks in a game was June 25, 1969, at Boston.

Left-hander Marc Rzepczynski (2-3) earned the win, and Zach McAllister notched his first career save.

Shortstop Eugenio Suarez homered for Cincinnati, which rallied from a late 3-1 deficit to force extra innings.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto cut the deficit to one with an RBI single in the eighth off Indians closer Cody Allen.

With two outs in the ninth, Suarez doubled and scored when pinch hitter Jason Bourgeois singled to right, tying the score 3-3.

"Once they tied it, that was such a losable game," Francona said, "but we didn't. Once we got punched in the stomach, I liked the way we kept playing."

Right-hander Johnny Cueto, in what might be his final start in a Reds uniform at Great American Ball Park amid trade speculation, didn't do much to bolster his value during a four-inning outing.

He allowed two runs and four hits with a season-high six walks, including two with the bases loaded. It was the fifth time he walked six in a game, but the first time since 2011.

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"I feel great," Cueto said via interpreter Tomas Vera. "Things happen. No pitcher likes to come in and sit for (47) minutes (during the rain delay), but that's not an excuse."

Cueto threw 94 pitches in his four innings, snapping a streak of 53 consecutive games in which he pitched at least five innings dating to June 28, 2013.

It was the second straight subpar outing for Cueto, who gave up five runs (three earned) in an 8-1 loss at Miami on July 12.

The Indians (44-47) had runners on first and third with two outs in the first inning when a heavy rainstorm halted action.

When play resumed, Cueto fanned right-fielder David Murphy to end the threat.

However, command issues resurfaced for Cueto in the second inning when he issued three walks, one with the bases loaded to force in a run, putting the Indians ahead 1-0.

Suarez tied the score 1-1 in the bottom half with his fifth homer off Carlos Carrasco.

Carrasco gave up only four hits with a walk and six strikeouts for the Indians, who won five of six meetings this season against Cincinnati (40-49).

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By the end of the fourth inning, Cueto already had walked six batters, including No. 8-hitting catcher Roberto Perez twice.

He walked three in the fourth, including left fielder Michael Brantley with the bases loaded to put Cleveland ahead 2-1.

The Indians' third run came again via a Brantley bases-loaded walk, this time off Manny Parra to make the score 3-1.

"It was just a bad day," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "You have a better chance of (Cueto) pitching a one-hit shutout than a game like that. It was an anomaly. You just don't see games like this."

NOTES: Reds LHP Aroldis Chapman reached 500 career strikeouts in 292 career innings, the fastest ever to reach the milestone. The old mark was held by RHP Craig Kimbrel (305 innings). ... Reds 3B Todd Frazier had a day off Sunday for just the second time this season. Frazier, the All-Star Home Run Derby champ, pinch-hit in the fifth inning and struck out, making him 0-for-10 in three games since the break. ... Indians catcher Yan Gomes turned 28 on Sunday. ... Indians RHP Josh Tomlin, on the disabled list following right shoulder surgery in April, will throw four innings or 65 pitches for Triple-A Columbus on Monday. .... Indians INF/OF Nick Swisher (left knee inflammation) will begin a rehab assignment Monday with Class A Lake County. He will have three at-bats as a designated hitter, then play the outfield Monday for four or five innings. ... Reds 2B Brandon Phillips played shortstop in the 11th inning for the first time since 2007. ... Indians RHP Carlos Carrasco collected his first career hit with a second-inning single.

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