Reds’ Bailey beats Indians 7-3

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CLEVELAND (AP)—Homer Bailey(notes) struggled to grip his pitches for the Cincinnati Reds.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians appear to be losing their hold on the season.

Bailey labored through five innings for Cincinnati, walking seven and throwing two wild pitches, but was good enough for the Reds to beat the Indians 7-3 on Saturday night.

After the game, Cleveland traded Mark DeRosa(notes) to St. Louis for reliever Chris Perez(notes) and a player to be named later. DeRosa has played third base and the outfield for Cleveland, ranking second on the team in both home runs (13) and RBIs (50).

“It has a chance to help us this season,” general manager Mark Shapiro said. “It adds a piece to the bullpen and gives some of our younger players an opportunity to continue to develop.”

The Indians have lost nine of their last 11 to fall to 31-45—the worst record in the American League—and are 11 games out of first place in the AL Central.

DeRosa did not play Saturday, when the Indians stranded six runners through the first four innings against Bailey (0-1), who allowed three runs on three hits despite the walks.

“Terrible,” Bailey said. “But we got the win, so who cares? No one said wins had to be pretty.”

Bailey was recalled from Triple-A earlier in the day to make his second start of the year and won for the first time since Sept. 20, 2007 against the Chicago Cubs.

The hard throwing right-hander has been one of the Reds’ top prospects since they drafted him in 2004, but he entered Saturday with a career mark of 4-8 and an ERA of 7.01. He went 0-6 with a 7.93 ERA last year in eight starts.

Bailey’s first start this season was also against the Indians, when he didn’t get a decision, but allowed six runs in 4 1-3 innings in a 7-6 loss on May 23. He has walked 13 in 9 1-3 innings, but blamed part of his control issues Saturday on his problems gripping the ball. He threw nearly as many balls (52) as he did strikes (54).

“There must have been something in the air,” Bailey said. “After every pitch, I constantly had to lick my hands. Then after about three innings, you get pretty dry-mouthed out there.”

Indians starter Tomo Ohka(notes) (0-2) needed 27 pitches to record an out in the second inning. By then, the Reds had a 4-0 lead on Bruce’s solo homer, RBI doubles by Chris Dickerson(notes) and Jerry Hairston and a groundout by Joey Votto(notes).

Those three, Cincinnati’s first three batters, went a combined 7 for 15. Laynce Nix(notes) doubled twice and scored twice for the Reds.

Ohka, who also hasn’t won since 2007, was making his third start for Cleveland. He has allowed 10 runs in his last two starts.

“Tomo battled, he just didn’t have the same command he had in previous outings,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “They gave us some opportunities. Bailey was effective but a little erratic. He made pitches when he needed to.”

Cleveland had runners in four of the five innings against Bailey, but Grady Sizemore’s(notes) two-run single in the fourth was the only real damage.

“He battled and gave us five innings,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He was around the strike zone, just not in the strike zone.”

Sizemore has eight RBIs in four games since coming off the disabled list Tuesday. He has driven in at least one run in all four games.

Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips(notes) was hit by a pitch in the first inning, but plate umpire and crew chief Tim McClelland refused to award him first base after it appeared Phillips intentionally stuck his elbow in front of the pitch. Baker argued briefly before Phillips walked on the next pitch.

NOTES: Cleveland reliever Jose Veras(notes) pitched a perfect ninth after being added to the roster earlier in the day. The Indians optioned reliever Jensen Lewis(notes) to Triple-A Columbus … Rafael Betancourt(notes) threw 45 pitches during a bullpen session Saturday and is scheduled to pitch in a simulated game on Monday … To make room for Bailey on the roster, the Reds optioned INF Adam Rosales(notes) to Triple-A Louisville.

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