CINCINNATI (AP) — Greg Allen needed just two games in his latest tour with the Cleveland Indians to make a huge impact.
Recalled from Triple-A Columbus on Saturday for the third time this season, Allen homered and tripled among his career-high four hits and made a circus catch behind Trevor Bauer, who pitched seven solid innings, as the Cleveland Indians remained baseball’s hottest team with an 11-1 rout of the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
“It wasn’t too bad,” said Allen, who made a leaping backhand catch of Jose Iglesias’s drive to the warning track in left-center field before bouncing into a bullpen fence in the second inning. “It was nice to get a win.”
“Boy, did he impact the game,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “A great catch, four hits — it’s nice for the whole organization.”
Jake Bauers hit a two-run homer and Tyler Naquin and Jason Kipnis added solo shots, helping Cleveland to a season-high sixth straight win — the longest current streak in the majors.
The Indians’ tied their single-game season highs with 18 hits and nine extra-base hits while completing a two-game sweep in which they outscored the Reds by a combined 18-3
“It was just two games,” Reds manager David Bell said. “They were big games for us, but two games doesn’t take away what we did, which was give us a chance and set us up for the second half. What helps us is our ability to bounce back. The team that bounces back the best is the team that will win this division.”
Bauer (8-6) improved to 4-0 with a 2.90 earned-run average over his last six starts. He allowed one hit through the first four innings before Jose Peraza singled to lead off the fifth and scored on Josh VanMeter’s pinch-hit double. Bauer bounced back to slip called third strikes past the potential tying runs, Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez.
“He battled his rear end off,” Francona said. “For four hits and (three) walks, it seemed like there was a lot of traffic. He got two huge strikeouts. That allowed us to add on.”
Bauer avoided damage again with two more strikeouts to end the sixth with runners on second and third. He allowed four hits with three walks and nine strikeouts. He also hit a batter. Four leadoff batters reached base against him.
“That puts you behind the 8-ball, but I was able to work out of it,” Bauer said. “I’m mostly happy to be healthy. I’ve felt like myself for the last three starts.”
Right fielder Yasiel Puig didn’t move as Naquin launched an 0-1 Tyler Mahle splitter deep into the right field seats with two outs in the fourth inning for a 1-0 Cleveland lead.
Jose Ramirez contributed a sacrifice fly in the fifth before Bauers followed on the next pitch with his two-run shot off the batter’s eye in center field.
Mahle (2-9) needed 84 pitches to get two batters into the fifth inning. He allowed six hits and three runs with three walks and seven strikeouts.
Allen’s two-run blast and Kipnis’ homer both came in Cleveland’s six-run eighth against right-hander Jimmy Herget, who was making his major league debut. Allen was the first batter faced by Herget.
The Indians won the season series against the Reds, 3-1, keeping the Ohio Cup for the fifth straight season. Bauer won the media voting for the series Most Outstanding Player award, renamed this year in honor of Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, who played for both franchises and in 1975 with Cleveland became baseball’s first black manager. Bauer finished 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA in two starts against Cincinnati.
The Reds on Sunday wore replica 1956 road uniforms, the eighth in a series of 15 throwback uniforms they are wearing to celebrate the 150th anniversary of baseball’s first all-professional team. The outfits included vest-type jerseys, and several players – including Puig and Votto – went without sleeves, showing off their upper arms.
Cleveland’s 18 hits were the most allowed by the Reds this season. Eleven runs tied the season high. The Indians eight hits and six runs in the eighth were the most allowed by Cincinnati in one inning this season.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar, sidelined all season with right rotator cuff tendinitis, is scheduled to make his first rehab appearance on Thursday with Double-A Akron.
Reds: OF Nick Senzel left the game after one inning with a right ankle sprain after trying to make a leaping catch at the wall in the top of the first. Senzel opened the season on Triple-A Louisville’s injured list with a right ankle sprain that occurred in spring training. … LHP Alex Wood threw 31 pitches in 1-1/3 innings on Saturday for Triple-A Louisville at Columbus in his first rehabilitation start as he continues trying to come back from lower back problems that have kept him sidelined for the entire season.
Indians: Mike Clevenger (2-2) is the scheduled starter on Friday when Cleveland opens the second half of the season at home against Central Division-leading Minnesota.
Reds: Cincinnati is scheduled to open the second half of the season on Friday with the first game of a three-game series at Colorado. The Reds starting pitcher has yet to be announced.