Reds 4, Indians 2
CINCINNATI (AP)—Paul Wilson regained control of his fastball and returned to his winning ways.
Wilson pitched effectively into the seventh inning to win for the first time in more than a month, and the Cincinnati Reds rebounded from their worst loss of the season with a 4-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday.
Since improving to 7-0 on May 25, Wilson lost his last two starts and had three no-decisions—leaving with leads each time only to have the bullpen spoil the outing.
“I knew what I had to do,” Wilson said. “I had to do what got me there. I made a concerted effort over the last couple of weeks to get my fastball down. It had been running more than I wanted. Tonight, I felt like I got it back down there.”
Wilson (8-2), who matched his career high for wins set last season, allowed two runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out six and walked two, one intentional.
“Obviously, I don’t keep score,” Reds manager Dave Miley said. “How many walks did he allow? That’s where Willie gets beat. He’d be the first to admit that that’s where he gets into trouble. It’s a big key for him.
“It was nice to see him get that eighth win,” Miley added. “He’s been trying for the last couple-three starts. That was exactly what we needed tonight.”
Danny Graves pitched a perfect ninth for his major league-leading 31st save in 38 opportunities.
Scott Elarton (0-1) lost for the first time in his fifth start for Cleveland. He gave up five hits and four runs—three earned—with four strikeouts and two walks in six innings.
Elarton threw 37 pitches in the first inning as the Reds scored three times.
Barry Larkin reached first on Casey Blake’s one-out error, a call that Indians manager Eric Wedge briefly argued with first base umpire Jerry Meals, and Jimenez followed with his sixth homer down the right-field line and into the Cleveland bullpen.
“Everybody in the stadium knew Larkin was out except one guy,” Elarton said. “Obviously, I threw a bad pitch to Jimenez. My command was not an issue in the first.”
“After that, (Elarton) threw very well,” Wedge said. “He struggled with his command, but he got it straightened out and gave us a great effort for six innings.”
Miley was happy to see the Reds convert an early scoring opportunity.
“It was nice to get that three-spot, because you figure you’re going to get a good outing out of Willie,” he said.
Cleveland broke up the shutout in the fifth on Elarton’s one-out single to right and Omar Vizquel’s two-out triple to center field, a sinking liner that skipped under the diving Freel’s glove and rolled to the wall.
Matt Lawton cut the deficit to two runs with his 13th homer in the seventh.
The switch-hitting Jimenez has hit all six of his homers left-handed … Indians SS Vizquel extended his hitting streak to six games with a first-inning single … Dunn’s third-inning strikeout was his major league leading 100th of the season … Reds INF Sean Casey missed his fifth consecutive game with a strained right calf … CF Ken Griffey Jr. missed his fifth consecutive start with a strained left calf … The Reds snapped a five-game losing streak against Cleveland over two seasons … The Indians losttheir third opportunity since June 22 to move above .500.