CLEVELAND (AP) - If the struggling Cincinnati Reds were hoping for any momentum from winning their last series, it didn’t show up Monday.
Alfredo Simon was tagged for five runs in five innings, and the Reds’ offense disappeared again against a dominant Corey Kluber, as the Cleveland Indians beat Cincinnati 7-1.
Reds manager Bryan Price was clearly displeased with his team.
“What was disappointing and unacceptable tonight was the fact that we didn’t have our head in the game at all,” he said. “Especially those first five innings.”
Back to .500 at 56-56, Cincinnati has averaged 2.4 runs since the All-Star break, scoring just one run seven times.
Simon (12-7) has been especially unlucky during this stretch, as the injury-riddled Reds have scored just seven runs in his last four starts. Cincinnati is 5-12 after going 26-15 from June 1 to the break on July 13.
The Indians went ahead in the first inning on Michael Brantley’s RBI groundout. First baseman Brayan Pena, playing several feet from the bag, fielded the ball. As Simon stood on the mound watching, Pena scrambled to the base and beat Brantley with a feet-first slide. Pena walked the ball back to Simon and had a couple of words with the right-hander for not covering the bag.
Lonnie Chisenhall broke things open in the fourth with a three-run homer to dead center and Brantley added his second RBI in the fifth on a single to push it to 5-0. Yan Gomes’ two-run shot in the eighth made it 7-1.
“That three-run homer, it just seemed like there was a feeling that the game was over,” Price said. “That’s not the way we play.”
Kluber (12-6), who hasn’t lost since June 30, held the Reds to six hits, struck out seven and walked two, as he continued a hot stretch of pitching.
Kluber’s 17-inning scoreless streak ended in the eighth on Pena’s RBI double off reliever Nick Hagadone. That also ended the right-hander’s stretch of not allowing an earned run at 25 innings.
The series between the intrastate rivals features teams trying to remain in playoff contention. The win lifted the Indians (57-55) two games over .500 for the first time since July 22.
Third baseman Todd Frazier, spiked on the left foot Sunday in Miami, started against the Indians and went 0 for 5. “I talked to him during the game yesterday,” Price said. “He said it could have been a lot worse. Other than needing a new pair of shoes and a band-aid, I think he’s OK.”