CLEVELAND – Asdrubal Cabrera went 5-for-5 with two homers and five RBIs as the Cleveland Indians completed a three-game sweep of Cincinnati with a 12-4 win Sunday over the reeling Reds, who for the moment have lost bragging rights as Ohio's best team.
Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Edinson Volquez (3-2) for the Indians, who did early damage after winning the series' first two games with late-inning comebacks. Cabrera added a solo homer in the sixth to give Cleveland an 8-4 lead.
Michael Brantley, Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo — the top three hitters in Cleveland's lineup — went a combined 10 for 12 with six runs and nine RBIs.
Carlos Carrasco (3-2) gave up four runs in six-plus innings, handing the Reds their fifth straight loss. The right-hander was lucky that several line drives were hit directly at Cleveland fielders.
Joey Votto and Jay Bruce hit solo homers for Cincinnati.
Now seen more as a contender than early season surprise, the Indians are 14 games over .500 for the first time since 2007. With their first sweep of the Reds in seven years, they improved baseball's best record to 29-15 — 18-4 at home.
Cabrera's day didn't start out well. The steady shortstop made a throwing error on Drew Stubbs' grounder to open the game, but he more than made up for it with his first five-hit, multihomer game. Cabrera also had an error in the sixth, but it didn't cause any harm.
The Indians missed Cabrera last season, when they lost 93 games. He was out two months after breaking his left forearm in a collision with former Indians third baseman Jhonny Peralta. Other than that, the 25-year-old Cabrera has been everything the Indians could have hoped for since calling him up in the 2007 playoff stretch.
The weekend series began ominously for Cleveland. On Friday, the club placed DH Travis Hafner on the disabled list with a strained side muscle, a move that came a few days after Grady Sizemore went on the DL with a bruised right kneecap.
Those were the first major signs of trouble for the Indians, who have shaken off losing two major pieces and continue to win over doubters.
The Reds were within 8-4 in the seventh and had two runners on with none out, but Chad Durbin came on for Carrasco, struck out two and worked out of the jam.
The Indians then blew it open in their half on RBI doubles by Jack Hannahan and Brantley, Cabrera's run-scoring single and a sacrifice fly by Choo.
As has been the case all season, Volquez was in an early hole — and this time, the Reds helped him dig it.
The Indians scored four runs in the first against the right-hander, who has an 18.00 ERA in the opening inning, perhaps the main reason he has trailed in all 10 starts.
Brantley led off with an infield single, and Cabrera hit his eighth homer to make it 2-1. Choo followed with a double and moved up on a groundout before Travis Buck walked. With Orlando Cabrera batting, Buck broke for second, but stopped and got into a brief rundown.
Second baseman Brandon Phillips chased Buck but missed the tag before throwing home. Catcher Ramon Hernandez attempted to get Choo at third, but his throw sailed over Scott Rolen's head and rolled to the wall, allowing Choo and Buck to score easily.
Votto gave the Reds a 1-0 lead in the first with a 431-foot shot into the bleachers in left-center, an area rarely reached by left-handers. It was the reigning NL MVP's sixth homer — first since April 27.
Notes: Reds LHP Aroldis Chapman, on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation, will make a rehab start on Monday with Triple-A Louisville. Pitching coach Bryan Price said Chapman's control problems stemmed from him over-rotating his shoulder during his delivery. ... Indians trainer Lonnie Soloff said Sizemore will increase baseball activities the next three days. Soloff deemed it an "important milestone" in Sizemore's recovery. ... The Reds had won the previous seven series against the Indians. ... Indians RHP Josh Judy made his major league debut in the ninth. ... The "Ohio Showdown" series drew 99,086 — the Indians' highest weekend attendance since the final week in 2008.