Cleveland, OH – Jason Giambi stroked a three-run home run and Justin Masterson spun six solid innings to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 5-2 victory over the in-state rival Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a two-game set at Progressive Field.
Cincinnati took the first two games of the Ohio Series at home, but Masterson (8-3) limited the Reds to just one run on four hits and four walks while striking out seven to earn his fourth win in five starts.
Mark Reynolds added a solo shot, while Nick Swisher finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored to help the Tribe put the brakes on a five-game skid.
Joey Votto and Xavier Paul each hit solo homers, while starter Bronson Arroyo (5-5) was tagged for all five runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 frames in Cincinnati's eighth straight loss in Cleveland.
Votto's 10th homer of the season staked the visitor's to 1-0 edge in the first, but Reynolds responded with a leadoff blast in the third to tie the game.
Cleveland then jumped in front in the fourth when Asdrubal Cabrera and Swisher clubbed consecutive one-out doubles, with the latter plating the former for a 2-1 lead.
Giambi followed suit with a two-bagger of his own off the base of the wall in center, but Shin-Soo Choo got to the ball quickly and made a nice throw to Brandon Phillips, who fired a strike to the plate to nab Swisher.
The Reds loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth as Phillips led off with a single, Jay Bruce reached on Swisher's fielding error, and Todd Frazier was hit by a pitch.
Masterson escaped unscathed, however, as he induced a 1-2-3 double play from Paul before flying out Ryan Hanigan to end the inning.
"I hoped he'd hit it right back to me," Masterson said of the pitch to Paul. "It was a slider away and I just hoped I didn't throw it away."
The missed opportunity proved costly, as the Tribe tacked on a trio of two-out runs in the bottom half to extend their lead.
Cabrera and Swisher smacked back-to-back singles to set the table for Giambi, who laced a slider into the first row in right field to make it 5-1.
"He didn't get all of it," Arroyo said of Giambi's home run. "It jammed him a pinch. That's the way it goes. We got beat today."
Paul led off the ninth with a towering fly ball to straightaway center to trim the margin to three, but Vinnie Pestano retired the next three Reds in order to complete the victory.
The Reds have homered at least once in nine straight road games, their longest such stretch since hitting a homer in 10 straight on the road from July 7-Aug. 12, 2005 ... Votto's first inning homer extended his road hitting streak to a career-high 18 straight games ... Choo, who spent the last seven seasons with the Indians, was making his first trip back to Cleveland since being traded to the Reds on Dec. 11, 2012 ... The home team has won the last 10 games played between these two teams.