Reds 5, Indians 4
CLEVELAND (AP)—Rainer Olmedo was no different than most little boys growing up in Venezuela. He dreamed of being a major leaguer, just like his hero, Omar Vizquel.
On Saturday, in the ballpark where Vizquel has had so many magical moments, Olmedo had a few of his own.
“This is what I wanted to do, and it’s special to do it against the Indians,” Olmedo said.
The rookie’s RBI single capped Cincinnati’s two-out, two-run rally in the ninth inning as the Reds came back again with a 5-4 interleague win over the Cleveland Indians.
Olmedo had three hits and four RBIs for the Reds, who have won a major league-leading 20 games in their final at-bat.
“It has happened so many times with different people that we think it can happen at any time,” starter Ryan Dempster said. “Right up until the last out.”
This time, the Reds were down to their final strike when Adam Dunn doubled off Danys Baez (0-6). Pinch-hitter Russell Branyan, traded by Cleveland to Cincinnati last season, followed with a double to almost the same spot to tie it 4-4.
Olmedo, who entered the game with one RBI in 46 at-bats, followed with a bloop single to left as the Reds won for just the second time in eight games.
Olmedo’s big day came with Vizquel watching from the opposing dugout. The 22-year-old said he first met Cleveland’s Gold Glove shortstop when he was 7. The pair had dinner plans for Saturday night.
“He was phenomenal,” Reds manager Bob Boone said. “This is a game he’ll remember for a long time and I will, too.”
Matt Lawton’s two-run homer, his second of the game and No. 100 in his career, gave the Indians a 4-3 lead in the seventh. He also homered in the first, Cleveland’s first homer since June 19.
Kearns crashed violently into the wall and crumpled to the ground after robbing Jody Gerut of extra bases to end the seventh. Kearns stayed on the warning track for several seconds before being helped to his feet by Griffey.
“I tried to yell, ‘Head’s up’, but that’s one of the loudest sounds I’ve ever heard when a guy hit a wall,” Griffey said.
Kearns was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth with an unspecified injury to his left leg. He was taken for an MRI, a Reds spokesman said.
Griffey ran down Gerut’s drive and made a lunging catch in front of the Indians’ bullpen in the fourth. In the sixth, Griffey raced back to the wall, timed his jump and snatched Milton Bradley’s shot that would have at least hit off the top.
“I was taught there are two sides to the ball,” Griffey said. “You have to hit to make it to the big leagues, but you have to play defense to stay.”
Gerut returned the favor on Griffey in the sixth with a leaping catch in right before tumbling to the track.
But Kearns got Gerut again the seventh with his running catch.
“A taste of my own medicine,” said Gerut, who seems to make a sparkling catch every time he takes the field. “That last inning didn’t beat us. They did it with their defense.”
Olmedo, Cincinnati’s No. 9 hitter, gave the Reds a 2-1 lead in the fifth with a two-run double off Indians starter C.C. Sabathia. Olmedo put Cincinnati ahead 3-1 with an RBI single in the seventh.
Sabathia said the Indians didn’t know enough about Olmedo to know how to pitch to him.
“We know now,” he said.
The Indians scored three times in the seventh to take a 4-3 lead.
Dempster gave up a leadoff double in the seventh to rookie Victor Martinez, making his season debut after being called up from Triple-A on Friday night.
Phillips hustled all the way to third on the play, but only had to trot home when Lawton drove a 3-1 pitch into the seats in right for his 10th homer.
Lawton’s towering shot to right in the first snapped a 79-inning homerlessdrought for the Indians, their longest since 1991.
Cincinnati also has a major league-high 18 one-run wins. … The Indians sold RHP Jason Phillips to the Orix Blue Wave of the Japanese Pacific League. … Griffey is 4-for-24 (.167) on the Reds’ trip. … Bradley has reached base safely in 31 straight games and 62 of 63 this season. … Baez hasfive blown saves.