Last week, Aroldis Chapman gave up his first home run of the year to Jose Lopez, but it didn't have an effect on the outcome of the game. His second one did.
Josh Tomlin was making his second start against the Reds in a week. Usually when a pitcher does that, the offense has the advantage, but not this time. In Cincinnati, Tomlin got hammered for 6 earned runs on 10 hits, but tonight he was better, holding the Reds to 1 run. Given how he looked in the first inning, it looked like Tomlin was on his way to a repeat of his last outing, as he gave up a leadoff double to Zack Cozart and an RBI single to Chris Heisey, but that would be all Cincinnati would score off him.
The Indians would tie the game in the third on a Michael Brantley double, a groundout, and a Casey Kotchman single. That run would be the only one the Indians would score of Cincinnati starter Chris Leake, who always seemed to be pitching with a runner in scoring position, but just allowed the one hit with a runner on second or third.
After the first two batters of the game reached, Tomlin retired the next nine batters he faced. Joey Votto hit a double in the fourth, but Tomlin pitched around it. Josh ran into trouble in the seventh, giving up a leadoff single to Brandon Phillips and walking two of the next three batters to load the bases. That prompted Manny Acta to go to the mound, bringing in Esmil Rogers to pitch to catcher Devin Mesoraco. This was a tough spot to bring Rogers in, as the last time he had appeared in a game he gave up a three-run homer, but in this case Rogers struck out Mesoraco with a slider on the ninth pitch of the at-bat.
The Indians would get the leadoff runner on in the eighth and ninth, but nothing would come of it. In the ninth inning, Michael Brantley singled and got to second with one out, but both Jack Hannahan and Aaron Cunningham struck out against Sean Marshall. In the top of the tenth, Dusty Baker sent in Willie Harris to pinch-hit for Mesoraco, and the light-hitting Harris leaned out over the plate and pulled a Smith fastball on the outer half of the plate over Brantley's head in right-center field. Zack Cozart then put down a perfect bunt, but it went foul. Cozart's next bunt attempt was towards the pitcher, and Smith was able to to nab Harris at third, thanks mainly to a horrible slide. Smith sawed off Chris Heisey, who hit both the ball and the bat to third base; Hannahan somehow fielded the ball despite the flying bat at his feet and got the force at second. With Joey Votto next, Nick Hagadone was summoned, and the southpaw got ahead of the NL's best hitter 1-2, then threw a wild wild pitch that Santana had no chance of catching. That sent the runner to second. Votto then hit a seeing-eye single that both Hagadone and Asdrubal Cabrera had a chance on. Then Hagadone threw a second wild pitch that bounce just 10 feet or so away from Santana, but it was far away enough for Heisey to score.
So the Indians would have to deal with Reds closer Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the tenth. Chapman retired Lonnie Chisenhall on one pitch, but then fell behind Shin-Soo Choo 3-0 before Choo lined a 3-1 single to shallow right. That brought up Asdrubal Cabrera, and Chapman fell behind the Tribe shortstop in between throws to first. Cabrera on the 2-0 attempted to go the other way with a high-90s Chapman fastball and fouled in back. On the 3-1 pitch, the fastball was a bit lower and didn't have quite the velocity, and that was enough; Cabrera lined the pitch over the right field fence for the walkoff win.
With the White Sox losing to the Cubs tonight, the Indians are back in first place.