Cincinnati, OH – Brandon Phillips had a home run among three hits and knocked in four runs as the Cincinnati Reds hammered the Cleveland Indians, 12-5, to complete a three-game interleague sweep Thursday.
Joey Votto added a three-run homer and Ryan Ludwick hit a two-run bomb for the Reds, who have won five of their last eight games.
"We needed every run we could get today," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "They can score runs in bunches and we feel very fortunate to have swept them."
Cincinnati starter Mike Leake gave up three runs on seven hits and two walks over 4 1/3 innings, while Jose Arredondo (4-1) received the win with two- thirds of an inning of relief.
Josh Tomlin (3-4) allowed six runs on 10 hits and two walks in just four innings to take the loss for Cleveland, which has dropped five of its last seven.
"You have to give them credit. They beat us on both sides of the ball," Indians manager Manny Acta said about the Reds. "Their starters pretty much held our offense down and then they outhit us too."
Shin-Soo Choo homered twice in defeat.
Cleveland jumped out an early lead when Choo led off the game with a shot over the right-center field wall. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a double down the first base line and crossed the plate on a pair of groundouts by Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana to give the Indians a quick two-run advantage.
But the Reds answered in the bottom of the first with Votto's three-run home run to center field to jump ahead, 3-2.
Chris Heisey and Zack Cozart started the frame with back-to-back singles prior to Votto's 12th homer of the season.
Phillips' leadoff blast to left field in the third inning gave Cincinnati a two-run edge.
The Reds loaded the bases with no outs on a walk by Devin Mesoraco and a pair of base hits by Leake and Heisey in the fourth inning and after Cozart grounded into a 5-2-3 double play, Phillips slapped a two-run single to right field, stretching the Reds' lead to 6-2.
Choo's second leadoff home run of the game in the fifth closed the gap to three, and Leake was later pulled with one out and runners on first and second.
Arredondo kept it a 6-3 game by inducing a grounder to second by Michael Brantley and striking out Jose Lopez.
Cincinnati, though, pulled away for good in the home fifth, starting with Ludwick's two-run homer to straightaway center field off Scott Barnes.
Mesoraco then doubled to left before moving to third on pinch-hitter Kristopher Negron's base hit. Heisey then hit a grounder to third that Lopez threw home, catching Mesoraco in a rundown.
But catcher Lou Marson ran into Mesoraco after chasing him down the basepath and Mesoraco was awarded home because of interference.
After Votto walked to load the bases, Phillips singled in Negron and Jay Bruce worked a walk to plate pinch-runner Homer Bailey to give the Reds an 11-3 lead.
After Cleveland left the bases loaded in the sixth, Negron reached second on an error by Lonnie Chisenhall and later crossed the plate on a wild pitch by Esmil Rogers in the bottom of the frame to increase Cincinnati's advantage.
RBI groundouts by Lopez and Aaron Cunningham in the seventh brought the Indians within 12-5, but J.J. Hoover and Sam LeCure both tossed a scoreless inning to close out the game for the Reds.
Negron's single in the fifth was his first career hit...Heisey left the game in the fifth inning with a mild left groin strain...Brantley extended his career-high hit streak to 21 games...Leake has now gone six straight starts without a loss...Cincinnati improved to 103-126 all-time in interleague play, while the Indians fell to 132-142...The all-time series between the teams is tied, 39-39.