Sowers, Indians turn back Reds, 9-2

Published 12:18 am Sunday, June 28, 2009

CLEVELAND — Jeremy Sowers finally got over his middle-inning hump. The Cleveland Indians still have a long climb ahead.

Sowers pitched into the eighth inning for the first time this season, Ryan Garko hit a two-run homer and Victor Martinez added a solo shot to lead the Cleveland Indians to just their second win in 10 games, 9-2 over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.

Sowers (2-5), who began the season at Triple-A Columbus, carried a one-hitter into the seventh before the Reds began to make solid contact.

He allowed two runs and six hits in his longest outing since Sept. 9, when he went eight in a win at Baltimore. The left-hander’s only previous win this season came on May 25, when he worked five shutout innings of relief as the Indians overcame a 10-0 deficit to beat Tampa Bay 11-10.

‘‘Fortunately, we were able to score some runs and that gave me a chance to be more aggressive and get deeper in the game,’’ Sowers said. ‘‘It’s definitely a step in the right direction.’’

The last-place Indians can only hope it’s one for them, too. Back from a brutal road trip, they had Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner and Martinez — Cleveland’s top three position players who have all been hurt — in the same lineup for the first time since the last week in April.

Sowers had been running into trouble in innings four, five and six in previous starts. He was fine the first two times through the order but then ran into trouble. Wedge and pitching coach Carl Willis have been harping on him to stay aggressive and this time he was.

The Reds have lost five of six and dropped to 4-9 in interleague play.

‘‘We got beat up,’’ manager Dusty Baker said. ‘‘You play the AL and they have some high-octane teams. You don’t score runs and it makes it tough to win. Sowers got strike one on us and made it tough.’’

Garko homered in the fourth off Aaron Harang (5-8) and Martinez added a solo shot in the fifth as the Indians built a 9-0 lead.

Reds’ boxscore

Friday’s Game

Indians 9, Reds 2

Cincinnati Cleveland

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Tavers cf 4 0 1 1 JCarrll 2b 5 2 2 0

HrstnJr 3b-2b 4 0 0 0 Sizemr cf 3 1 1 1

BPhllps 2b 3 1 1 0 VMrtnz c 3 1 1 2

ARosls 3b 1 0 0 0 Choo rf 4 1 2 2

Votto 1b 4 0 0 0 DeRosa lf 4 0 1 0

Gomes dh 3 0 2 1 Hafner dh 4 1 0 0

RHrndz c 3 0 1 0 JhPerlt 3b 4 1 2 1

Hanign c 0 0 0 0 Garko 1b 3 2 2 2

Bruce rf 4 0 0 0 Gimenz ph-1b 1 0 0 0

Janish ss 4 0 0 0 Valuen ss 4 0 1 0

Dickrsn lf 3 1 1 0

Totals 33 2 6 2 Totals 35 9 12 8

Cincinnati 000 000 110 — 2

Cleveland 002 232 00x — 9

E—B.Phillips (6). LOB—Cincinnati 7, Cleveland 5. 2B—Taveras (9), B.Phillips (13), Dickerson (7), Sizemore (12), DeRosa (13), Jh.Peralta (13), Valbuena (11). HR—V.Martinez (14), Garko (7). SB—Choo (12). CS—Sizemore (7). SF—V.Martinez.

IP H R ER BB SO

Cincinnati

Harang L,5-8 4 2-3 10 7 5 1 3

Burton 1 1-3 2 2 2 1 0

Fisher 1 0 0 0 0 1

Rhodes 1 0 0 0 0 0

Cleveland

Sowers W,2-5 7 6 2 2 1 6

J.Lewis 1 0 0 0 2 2

Sipp 1 0 0 0 0 3

Sowers pitched to 2 batters in the 8th. J.Lewis pitched to 2 batters in the 9th. WP—J.Lewis. Umpires—Home, Adrian Johnson; First, Tim McClelland; Second, Andy Fletcher; Third, Ted Barrett. T—3:03. A—28,114 (45,199).