By HAL McCOY
The Cincinnati Reds used The Big Bang Theory Wednesday afternoon in Cleveland’s Progressive Field.
After scoring only 12 runs in their previous six games, the Reds used four solo home runs, four doubles and solid pitching from Anthony DeSclafani to record a 7-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
And they started with a big bang against Indians rookie pitcher Zach Plesac, nephew of long-time major league pitcher Dan Plesac. Plesac, making his fourth major league start, entered the game with a 1.86 earned run average.
The Reds topped that earned run average with the first two batters of the game. Nick Senzel and Joey Votto clubbed back-to-back home runs for a quick 2-0 lead. It was the first time the Reds opened a game with back-to-back home runs since Alex Ochoa and Barry Larkin performed the power act against the St. Louis Cardinals 18 years ago in 2001.
For Senzel, it was his seventh home run, his first leading off a game.
Votto, the designated hitter for only the fourth time in his career, was 2 for 13 as a DH, when he followed Senzel’s home run with a duplicate copy, Votto’s sixth of the season.
Those were the runs DeSclafani cherished and protected, giving up one run and four hits over 5 2/3 innings to level his record at 3-and-3.
The only dent the Tribe put on DeSclafani came in the third when Tyler Naquin led with a double and scored on a pair of ground balls, cutting the margin to 2-1.
Doubles by Jose Iglesias and Jose Peraza in the fifth pushed the Reds in front, 3-1, Eugenio Suarez homered leading off the sixth and Curt Casali homered leading off the seventh for a 5-1 lead.
That gave the Reds four solo home runs and two more runs came across in the eighth on a two-run double by Jose Iglesias, his second double of the game.
The Tribe collected only one run and two hits over the last 3 1/3 innings against the Reds bullpen. Amir Garrett pitched 1 1/3 and gave up one hit, Michael Lorenzen pitched an inning and gave up a harmless solo home run to Carlos Santana.
Zach Duke (two outs) and Jared Hughes (one out) combined to close it out in the ninth.
After giving up a run in the second, DeSclafani was in tepid water only one other time and that was in the third when the Indians filled the bases with one out. Tyler Naquin hit into an inning-ending double play and that was that for the Tribe.
The Reds made the most of their nine hits to score seven runs. Eight of the Reds’ nine hits were for extra bases.
Only Iglesias with his two doubles had more than one hit. In addition to the four solo home runs and Iglesias’ two doubles, Derek Dietrich had a double and Jose Peraza had a double.
After a seven-game trip during which they were 3-and-4, the Reds return home Friday night for back-to-back interleague series against the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros.