Jason Giambi is much more comfortable attempting to hit a home run than he is attempting to steal a base. Giambi, two innings after his base-running mistake, hit a three-run homer in the sixth to help the Indians defeat the Reds, 5-2, Wednesday night at Progressive Field. Justin Masterson pitched well as the Tribe (28-24) snapped a five-game slide. The Reds slipped to 33-20. The Tribe's fourth began with a routine groundout by Jason Kipnis against right-hander Bronson Arroyo. The next four batters reached safely -- but produced just one run. Asdrubal Cabrera doubled to left and scored on Nick Swisher's double to center for a 2-1 lead. It gave the Indians their first lead since the ninth inning Sunday at Boston. Giambi fell behind, 0-2, and worked the count to 2-2. On Arroyo's ninth pitch, Giambi hit a fly to deep right-center. Center fielder Shin-Soo Choo gave chase, then checked up near the wall to play the carom. Swisher, unsure if Choo would make the catch, struggled to get restarted from beyond second and was thrown out with room to spare by second baseman Brandon Phillips' relay. Credit Giambi with the Tribe's third consecutive double. On a 3-1 pitch to Carlos Santana, Giambi "sprinted'' for third and easily was erased. Umpire Jeff Kellogg called the pitch a ball, meaning Santana had walked during the stolen-base attempt. Cincinnati applied maximum pressure on Masterson in the sixth, loading the bases with none out. Phillips led off with a chop over the mound for an infield single. Jay Bruce hit a grounder wide of first that Swisher failed to secure, Phillips stopping at second. Todd Frazier was hit by Masterson's first pitch. Xavier Paul took two balls. After a swinging strike, Paul grounded to Masterson, who triggered a 1-2-3 double play. Ryan Hanigan flied to left on Masterson's 105th pitch. Masterson (8-3, 3.07 ERA) gave up the one run on four hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out seven. Masterson notched his eighth quality start out of 12. He rebounded from a six-inning, five-run performance in a loss at Boston on May 24.
Giambi, Masterson help Indians defeat Reds, 5-2
Cleveland Plain Dealer | May 30