CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Hits and runs were not a problem Saturday night for the Indians.
A night after getting no-hit for the second time this season, everyone in the starting lineup reached base and eight of them collected a hit to back Aaron Civale, who improved to 5-0 on the season, as Cleveland routed the Reds – at Progressive Field.
“It just set the tone for everyone in the dugout putting [Friday] behind us,” Civale said of the early run support. “That’s what it’s all about: Putting the lows behind and riding those highs.
“Any night, we got a shot to win always. I don’t think it matters who’s on the mound or who we're playing. I think everyone feels that way and that’s how we play each day.”
Amed Rosario didn’t collect a hit but he walked twice and scored both times.
Civale went seven innings and allowed one earned run on five hits with a pair of walks and five strikeouts to remain perfect in 2021.
“I thought he did a really good job,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “The one inning he limited the damage to one run when he had a lot of traffic.”
Reds starter Luis Castillo lasted just four innings and he got tagged for six runs – four earned, on five hits with a pair of walks and strikeouts.
Rosario ended any thought of back-to-back no-hitters in the first inning by driving a double off the wall in left center scoring Amed Rosario, who walked, from first for a 1-0 lead.
Cleveland manufactured another run in the second inning thanks to some help from a former Indian. Josh Naylor walked, Jake Bauers reached after Naquin dropped a fly ball in left, Austin Hedges moved the runners over with a sac bunt and Andres Giminez hit a sac fly to left to score Naylor.
Civale escaped trouble in the third after allowing three straight Reds to reach. Nick Senzel singled with one out, Jesse Winker doubled to right and Nick Castellanos walked before Mike Moustakas lofted a sac fly to center to score Senzel to cut Cleveland’s lead in half, 2-1.
“Just trying to limit the damage,” Civale said.
Francona expected his team to have short memories and come into Saturday's game with a fresh approach and that's exactly what happened.
“That’s all what the Indians have been for many years is going at each day as its own and attacking each day like nothing happened the day before,” Civale said. “I think the way we have the ability to do that is special. That’s not always the case.”
The Indians plated four runs in the fourth thanks to three straight one-out singles, the third from Austin Hedges brought home Naylor for a 3-1 advantage. Giminez reached on a fielder’s choice and Reds shortstop Kyle Farer failed to field the throw from Moustakas, who went for a 3-6-3 double play, to load the bases. Cesar Hernandez cleared the bags with a three-run triple down the right field line to make it a 6-1 game.
“Cesar’s gonna hit,” Francona said. “It will be fun watching him get to his level. He’s starting to feel a little better about himself, which is good.
“For the bottom of our order to do that, that’s really helpful... When we can manufacture some runs at the bottom of the order it certainly helps.”
Jose Ramirez snapped an 0-10 skid with a two-run double to right in the bottom of the sixth off Reds reliever Ryan Hendrix to extend the Indians lead to 8-1. Franmil Reyes sent Red reliever Ryan Hendrix to the showers with an RBI single to center to make it 9-1.
Tyler Naquin hit his seventh homerun of the season in the ninth for Cincinnati to provide the final score.