CLEVELAND (AP) – One of the few things that the Cincinnati Reds had been doing well was playing defense. Not so much on Sunday.
The Reds committed three errors in their eighth straight loss, helping the Cleveland Indians complete a series sweep with a 5-2 victory.
It is the longest losing streak for Cincinnati since 2009. The Reds have been outscored 54-19 during the slide that has dropped them to a season-worst seven games under .500 at 18-25.
Manager Bryan Price was blunt about his team’s performance, calling it the worst game of the season for the Reds.
“We didn’t show up today,” Price said. “I apologize for anyone who drove from Cincinnati to come out and watch us play because that was brutal. But we’re all brutal right now.”
The Reds, who were swept in Cleveland for the first time since 2012, came into the game tied with Miami and Tampa Bay for the least errors in the majors with 17. It was the first time they committed three or more errors in a game since May 20 last year when they had four against Washington.
After David Murphy had an RBI single for Cleveland’s first run, Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips misplayed a Nick Swisher grounder, and Brandon Moss scored on the play. Swisher ended up advancing to second when no one was there to cover the base.
The Reds had two errors in the sixth that led to two unearned runs. Yan Gomes reached when reliever J.J. Hoover had the ball bounce off his glove. With the bases loaded and two out, first baseman Joey Votto threw wildly to first with Hoover covering as both runs scored.
“On the days we lose we should be frustrated, angry and something we make right the following day,” Votto said. “If we start going down the acceptance route, we’re in very big trouble.”
Marlon Byrd homered in the seventh for Cincinnati, and Brayan Pena had an RBI double in the ninth.
Cincinnati rookie Raisel Iglesias (1-1), starting in place of Johnny Cueto (sore right elbow), allowed two runs in three innings. The right-hander threw 84 pitches and allowed four hits and three walks with six strikeouts.
Trevor Bauer pitched into the eighth inning as Cleveland extended its win streak to six. The right-hander (4-1) allowed five hits, struck out four and walked none.
Byrd has seven homers and 16 RBIs in May. The home runs are tied for third in the National League this month. Washington’s Bryce Harper has 11.
Cincinnati has dropped all three of its interleague series this season. The Reds are 1-7 against the American League this season and 7-21 over the past two years.
Reds: C Devin Mesoraco (left hip impingement) will be examined by team doctors Monday. He hasn’t caught since mid-April and suffered a setback while doing catching drills Friday.
Indians: OF Michael Brantley doubled and walked after not playing Saturday. He has been dealing with a sore back since spring training.
Reds: RHP Jason Marquis, who has lost his past three starts, will pitch the opener of a three-game series against Colorado on Monday.
Indians: RHP Shawn Marcum will start the opener of a three-game series against Texas on Monday. He allowed two runs, both solo homers, in his first start of the season against the White Sox on May 20.