CLEVELAND -- After sweeping the Blue Jays over the weekend, the Indians extended their winning streak to four games on Monday night, as Carlos Santana belted two homers to power the Indians over the in-state rival Reds, 6-2, at Progressive Field to retain the Ohio Cup.
In a makeup game of a postponed May 25 contest between the clubs, Santana smacked his 11th and 12th homers of the season -- first from the left, then from the right side of the plate -- to win the 2017 Ohio Cup Most Outstanding Player Award. Roberto Perez delivered the go-ahead RBI double in the fifth, and Michael Brantley and Bradley Zimmer each contributed sacrifice flies in the first and fifth innings, respectively. Zimmer later added an RBI single in the seventh.
Monday was the fourth time in Santana's career that he has homered from both sides of the plate in the same game. The other three times were on Sept. 13, 2011, July 27, 2014 and June 12, 2016. In addition, this is the fourth time an Indians player has homered from both sides of the plate in the same game this season, with Jose Ramirez doing so twice, once on June 17 vs. the Twins and again on July 2 against the Tigers. Francisco Lindor also accomplished the feat during the Indians' third game of the season against the Rangers.
"Carlos is an intriguing player because he always has good at-bats," Josh Tomlin said. "I know his average might not look as sexy as the .300s, the .280s or whatever else, but he puts up good at-bats, he gets on base, he plays every day. So I mean, that says a lot, and the aspect of the team is what he does, what he brings to the field every single day -- ready to play, ready to play first base, DH, whatever [Indians manager Terry Francona] asks him to do."
"Yeah, that's good, because he's always been that way," Francona said on Santana getting hot in the second half. "He doesn't wear down. It's like the more at-bats he gets, the better he is. That's really welcome because he'll play a huge part in us going forward."
Tomlin picked up his seventh win of the season, and his third win in as many starts, throwing six strong frames. He allowed two runs on four hits and one walk while striking out six on 72 pitches. Andrew Miller and Cody Allen combined to go three scoreless innings to close out the ballgame.
Both of Cincinnati's runs came on solo homers off Tomlin. The first came in the fifth by Scooter Gennett (No. 18), and the second came in the sixth by Zack Cozart (No. 12).
"I think it was just the execution of pitches," Tomlin said. "That's a pretty good hitting team over there. I think the two pitches I didn't execute were hit for home runs and the other ones were hit pretty hard in the gap somewhere and our defense made great plays on them."
Reds starter Tim Adleman was handed his eighth loss of the season after going six-plus innings and allowing five runs, six hits and three walks while striking out four.
"I just thought a couple balls got up over the plate in the first inning," Adleman said. "Most of the rest of the game I was able to keep it down and get a lot of my pitches to the corners. I pitched to some weak contact as well, and I got a little rhythm going and got us into the fifth, sixth inning relatively unscathed."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Indians hit right back: After the Reds tied it up in the top of the fifth thanks to Gennett's blast, the Indians responded in the bottom half of the frame. Adleman walked two of the first three batters he faced, setting the stage for Perez with one down. A nine-pitch battle between the two ended in the Tribe's favor, as Perez scorched a 107-mph -- per Statcast™ -- RBI double off the wall in center to give the Indians the lead. The next batter, Zimmer, drove in the Tribe's third run with a sacrifice fly to left.
"That was a good at-bat," Francona said of Perez's double. "He fouled off some pitches, he stayed alive, he laid off some balls out of the zone. And then he drove one, not the other way, but to the right-center-field side. That was a really good swing. When he does that, he's so much better a hitter than at times when he gets a little pull happy."
Miller time: After Miller pitched only one time in the last six days, Francona opted to bring in the lefty for the top of the seventh. In his last relief appearance on Saturday, Miller allowed a game-tying solo homer to Toronto's Justin Smoak. But this time, Miller was lights out, going two scoreless innings and striking out two. The only blemish on Miller's line in his two innings of work was a bloop single by Devin Mesoraco.
"[Tomlin] got me my second at-bat; he threw a couple curveballs in there and I struck out. Honestly I wasn't looking for a curveball, he just made a mistake. I'm sure he'll say the same thing. He just left it up and hung it a little bit. He made it a little easy on me." -- Cozart, on his home run
"Right now, I feel much better. Before, I tried too much, I was worried about, 'I'm a free agent,' and I tried too much. So a couple days ago, I thought about it like, try to enjoy [it]. My team, they need me. This is what I'm doing, trying to enjoy it and trying to work hard. I'm working hard every day, but not trying to try too much, put too much pressure on myself. That's why I have felt much better the last five days." -- Santana, on getting hot in the second half
WHAT'S NEXT Reds: Rookie right-hander Luis Castillo (1-3, 3.86) gets the call as the Reds open a two-game series against the Yankees at 7:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. Castillo has yet to give up more than four runs in any of his six starts but has been tagged by seven homers in 35 innings.
Indians: The Indians will open a three-game set with the Angels, beginning with Tuesday's 7:10 p.m. ET tilt at Progressive Field. Right-hander Mike Clevinger (5-3, 2.73 ERA) will take the mound for the Indians, and will look to continue his recent success. In his last six starts, he has gone 4-2 with a 1.36 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 33 innings pitched.