CLEVELAND – Pinch-hitter Victor Martinez singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.

The Indians completed interleague play with a major league-best 15-3 record and improved to 22-10 overall since May 21.

The Reds went 7-8 against the American League, but have lost 14 of 16 road games to drop to 7-26 away from home overall.

Jody Gerut opened the eighth with a bloop double that fell in front of left-fielder Adam Dunn. Gerut moved to third on a grounder, but wasn’t able to score when Alex Cora grounded right to second baseman Rich Aurilia for the second out.

Martinez, batting for Josh Bard, fouled off four consecutive 1-2 pitches from David Weathers (4-1) before hitting a single between first and second to score Gerut. That extended Martinez’s hitting streak to eight games during which he has hit .464 (13-for-28) with nine RBIs.

Bob Howry (5-2) got the final out of the eighth inning and Bob Wickman worked the ninth for his 21st save in 24 chances.

Cleveland took a 3-2 lead in the fifth. Grady Sizemore doubled and advanced to third on a bunt single by Coco Crisp. After Hafner struck out, Ben Broussard hit a one-hopper back to Aaron Harang (4-7), who hesitated before throwing to second to force Crisp. That cost the Reds a chance at a double play, and Sizemore scored easily.

The Reds tied it in the eighth off Arthur Rhodes, who gave up a single to Sean Casey and a walk to Ken Griffey Jr. before getting Joe Randa to ground into a double play. Adam Dunn then shattered his bat on a grounder right at second baseman Ronnie Belliard, who misplayed it for an error as Casey scored.

Indians starter C.C. Sabathia gave up two runs over five innings as he bounced back from two terrible starts in which he had allowed 15 runs over eight innings, raising his ERA from 3.91 to 4.66.

The left-hander battled through a rocky – but scoreless – first inning in which he made 31 pitches, gave up one hit, one walk and went to a 3-2 count on all five batters he faced. With two runners on, he struck out Casey and Griffey, then got Randa to foul out and end the threat.

The Reds broke through in the second. Wily Mo Pena hit a one-out single and scored when Jason LaRue hit his sixth homer on a 3-1 pitch to put Cincinnati ahead 2-0.

Hafner tied it with a two-run double with the bases loaded in the third.

Harang lost his fifth straight start, giving up three runs and six hits over six innings to fall to 0-5 with a 6.67 ERA in June.

Notes: The attendance of 29,335 gave the Indians a three-game series total of 99,005 against their intrastate rivals. … Cleveland leads the all-time series 23-16. … Indians 3B Casey Blake went 0-for-3 to snap his 11-game hitting streak. … In six interleague games in AL ballparks, Reds designated hitters combined to hit .136 (3-for-22) with one homer and one RBI. … Reds LHP Brian Shackelford made his big-league debut and struck out the first batter he faced – Sizemore.

AP-ES-06-26-05 1615EDT


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