The Reds' current hot streak began in a stretch of 15 games against teams with sub-.500 records. So it was reasonable to wonder what would happen when the competition was raised a notch. Well, now you can at least say it's started pretty well. The Reds completed a two-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians with an 8-2 victory Tuesday night before a crowd of 28,812 at Great American Ball Park. They went home happy: The Reds struck out 11 to earn the fans LaRosa's pizza. The Reds go to Cleveland for two more games. The home-and-away series with the Indians is the start of a 13-game stretch against teams that are currently over .500. No matter the opponents, the Reds are confident. "I feel like we show up at the park expecting to win," shortstop Zack Cozart said. "We're getting to the point where we know how good we are if we play our style ball." Mat Latos (5-0) went 6 1/3 innings and allowed one run on five hits. He walked a season-high four and struck out seven. It was the latest in a line of sparkling performances from the starting rotation. The starters are 9-0 with a 1.95 ERA and 12 quality starts over the last 15 games. The Reds racked up 18 hits on the night. Cozart and Xavier Paul had three-hit nights. Shin-Soo Choo, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Devin Mesoraco and Jack Hannahan had two hits each. Cozart is hitting .480 (12-for-25) over his last six games. "I'm attacking up there, instead of taking a lot of pitches," Cozart said. "I'm going up there and looking for a pitch in the zone early. It's kind of turned it around for me." But this was a tight game until the seventh. Choo led off the game with a drive to right center. It hit on the warning track and bounced out. Choo must have seen it go out but not bounce. He rounded second like he had hit a home run. Cozart attempted to bunt Choo to third. The bunt died about 15 feet up the third base line. Pitcher Zach McAllister fielded it but had no play. Joey Votto followed with a line single to center. Choo scored and Cozart went to third. Votto took second on a wild pitch. Phillips lined one off McAllister. He recovered. His throw to first baseman Nick Swisher pulled Swisher off the bag. Phillips tried to slip around him and tag the bag. First base umpire Jeff Kellogg called Phillips out. Phillips and manager Dusty Baker argued. Kellogg consulted with home plate umpire Chad Fairchild. The call stood. Jay Bruce struck out for the second out, but Paul singled to score Cozart and Votto to make it 3-0. "Any time early in a game you can jump on a team and give Mat that run support," Paul said. "The way he was throwing we didn't have to put that many runs on the board. The way we're swinging the bats is great."
Reds down Indians, 8-2
Cincinnati Enquirer | May 29