CINCINNATI (AP) — Drew Stubbs drove in four runs with a homer and a single Friday night, powering the Cincinnati Reds to a 10-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians, who have dropped six in a row.
The Reds wore green caps as part of an Irish Heritage Night promotion, bringing a new hue to the intrastate rivalry — one that's been one-sided lately. Cincinnati is 12-4 in the series over the last three seasons.
Aaron Harang (6-7) gave up eight hits in seven innings, getting his first victory in three starts. Cincinnati had been shut out in his last two starts.
Didn't take long to end that trend. Stubbs hit a two-run homer in the second off Aaron Laffey (0-2), and added a two-run single in the fifth that made it 8-2.
Scott Rolen also homered for the Reds, who lead the NL in batting average and hits. Jay Bruce doubled twice, scored three times and had a sacrifice fly.
The Indians' plummet continued unabated. Cleveland fell a season-low 20 games under .500 at 26-46 — the third-worst record in the majors. The Indians have lost 10 of 11 overall.
While the Indians wallow in last place in the AL Central, the Reds remain locked with St. Louis in a two-team race in the NL Central, separated by a half-game. Cincinnati won its fourth in a row
Cincinnati's pitching has been exceptional the last week, a trend that Harang struggled to extend on a hot, muggy night. He pitched out of two-on threats in the first, second and third innings, when Cleveland squandered chances to take advantage of his control problems.
Harang walked a season-high five batters, but only one of them scored. Carlos Santana hit a two-run homer in the fifth, then left the game with a sore left thumb. Jhonny Peralta added a solo shot in the sixth.
Laffey moved from the rotation to the bullpen this season, but struggled in May and was sent to Triple-A to get back into a starting mode. He was called up before Friday's game and made a disappointing return, needing 86 pitches to get through four innings.
The left-hander has never done well against Cincinnati, going 0-4 in four appearances with an 11.12 ERA. Both losses this season have come against the Reds — he got the other one in relief during a 7-4 defeat on May 21 in Cleveland.
NOTES: The Reds pulled ahead in the series 34-33. ... The Indians are 4-12 in interleague play this season. The Reds are 7-6. ... Cleveland has lost 11 of its last 13 games in National League ballparks. ... Reds manager Dusty Baker dropped slumping leadoff hitter Orlando Cabrera to second in the order. Brandon Phillips batted first for the third time this season. Cabrera doubled in his second at-bat, breaking an 0-for-19 slump. ... Stubbs' four RBIs matched his career high.