PHOENIX (AP) - Cleveland's bullpen has been stellar all season, so when Arizona closer J.J. Putz blew a two-run cushion in the ninth inning, Indians manager Manny Acta figured his team would have the advantage.
He was wrong.
The middle relievers spoiled another quality start by Josh Tomlin, and Diamondbacks pinch-hitter Wily Mo Pena delivered a two-run homer off Tony Sipp with two outs in the ninth, sending the Indians to a 6-4 loss to Arizona on Tuesday night.
``We felt we have the advantage with the bullpen and maybe we can win by holding them and scoring a run, but give them credit,' Acta said. ``They got to our bullpen the whole night.'
Tomlin was solid, allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings. The right-hander lasted five innings for the 28th straight game, matching the major league record to start a career set by Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2007. Tomlin also added the first two hits of his career, along with his first RBI, and left the game with the score tied 2-all.
But then things fell apart for Cleveland.
Rafael Perez gave up a tiebreaking single to Kelly Johnson in the eighth and Joe Smith allowed him to score on Justin Upton's run-scoring single that made it 4-2.
Cleveland rallied in the ninth on Carlos Santana's two-run homer off Putz, but Sipp (3-1) walked leadoff hitter Ryan Roberts, allowed him to steal second and third, then gave up Pena's game-ending homer to left.
``It just hung up,' Santana said. ``It was not good location.'
Out of the big leagues for more than two years before being called up on June 21, Pena had hit a couple of mammoth homers, including one that went an estimated 454 feet against Detroit last week. But with the homers have come some wild swings, mostly on breaking pitches, leading to 11 strikeouts in 24 at_bats.
Relegated to pinch-hitting duties after spending some time as a designated hitter in AL parks, Pena waited for his turn and made the most of it, showing he can hit the breaking ball on occasion by lifting a line-drive homer over the wall in left that set off a wild celebration at the plate.
``The guy can swing the bat,' Roberts said. ``He hits homers and he hits the ball a long way.'
The Diamondbacks needed it after Putz's latest ninth-inning struggles.
Arizona appeared to be in control after Daniel Hudson's eight strong innings and two big hits by Kelly Johnson.
A .209 hitter coming in, Johnson hit a solo homer off Tomlin in the sixth inning, a tiebreaking RBI single off Rafael Perez in the eighth and later scored on Upton's run-scoring single, putting Arizona up 4-2 heading into the final inning.
Putz couldn't hold it.
The right-hander allowed a two-out homer to Orlando Cabrera in a 5-4 loss to the Indians on Monday night and was in trouble right off the bat Tuesday, walking Cabrera on four pitches to open the ninth. An out later, Santana tied the game with a towering, two-run homer that curled just inside the foul pole in right.
Putz left to a chorus of boos after giving up a two-out double to Travis Buck and was replaced by Alberto Castillo (1-0), who was brought up from Triple-A Reno earlier in the day.
Pena took Putz off the hook and gave Castillo a one-out win with one swing of the bat.
``He made us all look good,' Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said.
It was relatively quiet before that, thanks to Hudson and Tomlin, who breezed through the first seven innings.
But this wasn't just a battle of arms. The pitchers were wielding their bats, too.
Tomlin had his first career hit in the third inning, dropping down a bunt that slipped past Hudson to the third base side. That set up Cleveland's first run, on a double-play grounder by Michael Brantley.
Tomlin went a more conventional route for his second career hit in the fifth inning, ripping a single up the middle for his first career RBI to put the Indians up 2-0. It also was the first RBI by an Indians pitcher since CC Sabathia against the Dodgers on June 21, 2008.
``I didn't go up there trying to do too much,' Tomlin said. ``I was just trying not to look like an idiot.'
He didn't, but Cleveland's bullpen didn't look too good for one of the few times this season, leading to a frustrating loss.
NOTES: Diamondbacks hitting coach Don Baylor turned 62 on Tuesday. ... Indians CF Grady Sizemore was looked at by team trainers after slamming into the wall on Gerardo Parra's triple in the fifth inning, but remained in the game. ... Hudson is 3-0 in six career June starts.
The Associated Press News Service
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