- Associated Press - Monday, May 22, 2017

CINCINNATI (AP) - Scott Feldman fanned his first five batters with such ease that it got him wondering.

“Why can’t I do that every time?” he mused.

The right-hander did things no Reds starter has done in a long time. He struck out a season-high nine while ending Cincinnati’s long stretch of ineffective starts, and Scott Schebler homered for the third straight game Monday night in a 5-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

The Reds took the opener of the annual intrastate series. The teams play two games in Cincinnati followed by two in Cleveland. The Indians had won their last four at Great American Ball Park and six straight overall in the Ohio series.

Feldman (3-4) got the first victory by a Reds starter since May 9. He gave up four hits, including Jason Kipnis’ homer, while becoming the first Cincinnati starter in the last 10 games to make it through six innings.

The Reds’ rotation is last in the NL in ERA and innings pitched.

“He gave us a chance to take the lead, which was huge for us,” manager Bryan Price said. “He was locked in the first time through their order.”

Three relievers closed out a seven-hitter for Cincinnati’s second victory in 10 games.

Schebler connected off Josh Tomlin (2-6) for his third homer in a span of seven at-bats. It’s the first time he’s homered in three consecutive games.

“I came out feeling good,” said Schebler, who leads the team with 13 homers. “I felt good in batting practice. I happened to put a good swing on a pitch down the middle. I don’t think he wanted to put it there.”

It was the only glaring mistake by Tomlin, who gave up nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. Adam Duvall and Arismendy Alcantara had RBI singles against Tomlin. Zack Cozart’s two-run single in the seventh off Dan Otero put Cincinnati in control.

Tomlin gave up six runs in only 2 1/3 innings in his last start, a 7-4 loss to Tampa Bay.

“I felt good my last start, but stuff just kind of snowballed in a hurry,” he said. “Same thing here.”

The Indians were coming off a three-game sweep in Houston, but couldn’t get much going against Feldman, who was coming off his worst performance of the season. He allowed seven runs in only 2 2/3 innings of a 7-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Wednesday.

NO WALKS

Tomlin didn’t walk a batter. He has walked two or fewer in 40 straight starts, a club record. Since the start of the 2015 season, Tomlin has made 25 starts without walking a batter, most by any AL pitcher during that span.

OUCH!

Indians right fielder Carlos Santana stayed down on his back for a couple of minutes after he slammed into the padded wall trying to catch a foul ball in the second inning, hurting his back. He stayed in the game. “By the time I got out there, you could tell he was OK,” manager Terry Francona said. “He was just trying to catch his breath.”

NICE PLAY

Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor made an over-the-shoulder catch of Cozart’s popup into center field in the third. Santana made a diving catch of Eugenio Suarez’s liner in the sixth and threw to second base to double up Joey Votto.

INTERLEAGUE

Cleveland leads the series 54-46. The Indians are 0-4 overall in interleague play this season. The Reds are 3-3.

STATS

Feldman’s career high for strikeouts in a game is 12, for the Cubs against the Padres in 2013. … Jose Peraza extended his hitting streak to nine games, matching his career high. … Kipnis’ homer gave him an eight-game hitting streak. Lindor also has hit in eight straight.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: RHP Corey Kubler is expected to throw 65-70 pitches for Triple-A Columbus on Thursday. If he comes through that OK, the Indians will consider activating him from the DL. He’s been sidelined since May 3 with a strained lower back.

Reds: Cozart was back in the lineup after missing one game with a sore right wrist.

UP NEXT

Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (4-2) hasn’t pitched since May 15 because of tightness in the front of his shoulder. He’s 2-0 against the Reds in three career starts and one relief appearance.

Reds: Rookie LHP Amir Garrett (3-3) makes his second start since returning from a stint in the minors. He gave up six runs in four innings of a 9-5 loss to the Cubs last Thursday.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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