CLEVELAND (AP) - Homer Bailey made one big mistake, and that was one too many with the way the Cleveland Indians have been playing this season.
Bailey left a seventh-inning fastball in the middle of the plate to Travis Buck, who drove it into the right-field stands for a two-run homer that led the Indians a 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.
Buck connected with two outs against Bailey (3-1), who took a one-hitter into the seventh.
``(Bailey) was throwing the ball great,' Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ``That ball was supposed to be in and it went back over the plate. And, boy, (Buck) didn't miss it.'
Josh Tomlin (6-1) gave up one run and three hits over seven innings. Vinnie Pestano worked the eighth and Chris Perez the ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances as Cleveland improved baseball's best record to 28-15.
Cleveland's second straight win in the three-game Ohio Showdown interleague series gave Cincinnati its fourth straight loss after a five-game winning streak.
``They're pitching well against us and they're getting whatever hits they need,' Baker said. ``Today, they needed a two-out homer and that's what they got. They're playing with a lot of confidence.'
The Indians again won with some late-inning magic at Progressive Field, where they are 17-4. For the first time in their last seven home triumphs, they didn't wait until their last at-bat to win it.
Still, the sellout crowd of 40,631 was nervous when Cleveland fell behind in the top of the seventh, 1-0. The Indians, with top hitters Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner on the disabled list, didn't show a hint of offense until Asdrubal Cabrera started the bottom half by grounding a single between first and second.
Bailey got two quick outs before Buck, serving as the DH in place of Hafner, drove the first pitch from the right-hander over the wall in right-center.
``The thing was to stay away,' Bailey said. ``But he was first-pitch swinging and he got a pitch he liked. Whether it goes out by 2 inches or 200 feet, it doesn't matter.'
Buck was just pleased he was able to get something to hit.
``Homer was dealing. He didn't give us many pitches to hit,' Buck said. ``I think he was trying to come inside to me and he left one a little out over the plate. Until then, he didn't give us much that you could put a swing on.'
The Reds went ahead in the top half on a one-out groundout by Scott Rolen that scored Brandon Phillips from third.
With one out, Tomlin hit Phillips with a pitch. Jay Bruce followed with a bloop single to left-center and Phillips hustled all the way to third. Second baseman Orlando Cabrera got in front of Rolen's sharply hit ball, but in an effort to try and turn a double play, bobbled it. He recovered in time to get Rolen at first as Phillips crossed the plate.
Until then, Tomlin matched Bailey pitch for pitch. Drew Stubbs singled on the game's first pitch, but was erased on a double play. Tomlin walked Bruce with one out in the second and didn't allow another baserunner until Ryan Hanigan singled to start the sixth.
``Tomlin has good movement and good location. He has good command of his breaking ball when he needs it and (today) he pitched with a lot of poise and confidence,' Baker said. ``He mixed it up. His whole thing is command and location and thats what he had today. It looked like he didn't break a sweat. He's very calm, how he pitches.'
Bailey was perfect for 3 2-3 innings before Shin-Soo Choo sent an opposite-field blooper to left for a single. Bailey then struck out Carlos Santana and didn't allow another baserunner until Cabrera started the Indians' winning rally.
The right-hander, who started this season on the disabled list with a sore pitching shoulder, struck out four over seven innings and recorded 11 outs on grounders.
``That's just the way it goes. It'll all even out in the end,' Bailey said of the loss. ``We played good defense today and their guy did really well. That's just the way it goes sometimes. They're going to have their day and we're going to have ours.
``Hopefully we can build off the good parts of this game. We still have a goal at the end of the season as to where we want to be. As long as we keep playing like this and the pitchers keep throwing the way we have, we should be right there.'
Notes: Hanigan is hitting .387 in his last 10 games. ... Buck's home run was his first since April 20, 2010, when he connected against the New York Yankees. ... Tomlin became the fifth pitcher since 1919 to work at least five innings in each of his first 21 career appearances. The most recent was Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka, who did it in 28 games in 2007.
The Associated Press News Service
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