May 22, 2011, 4:32 PM EDT
Asdrubal Cabrera, the American League’s best shortstop since day one this season, delivered two homers as part of a 5-for-5, five-RBI game as the Indians routed the Reds 12-4 and completed a three-game sweep Sunday.
Of course, it’s not likely to get him a start over Derek Jeter in the All-Star Game, but barring a big slump, he will make the team for the first time.
The Indians also got a nice game from Michael Brantley, who went 3-for-5 with a double, a steal and three runs scored as Grady Sizemore’s replacement in the leadoff spot. Primarily valued for his speed, on-base skills and defense, he’s been a very pleasant surprise in contributing three homers and 13 RBI in 18 games this month.
The Reds received homers from Joey Votto and Jay Bruce in the contest, but it wasn’t nearly enough to overcome an ugly outing from Edinson Volquez, who should have been pulled from the rotation earlier this month. Volquez, the team’s Opening Day starter, gave up seven runs — six earned — in 2 2/3 innings to raise his ERA to 6.35. He walked four today, giving him 38 walks in 51 innings for the season.
With the victory, the Indians moved to 29-15. They’re not only leading the AL Central by 7 1/2 games, but they’re 4 1/2 games up on the Yankees and Rays for the American League’s best record.
The Reds have lost five in a row to fall to 25-22. It’s their longest losing streak of this season, and it matches their longest from 2010.
- Dodgers announce Vin Scully will return for 2015 season 4
- Jon Lester scratched Wednesday amid trade speculation 7
- Rays are “talking and willing” to trade ace lefty David Price; Cardinals and Dodgers interested 27
- Phillies wanted Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, and Julio Urias from Dodgers for Cole Hamels 58
- Matt Cain is going to pay a visit to Dr. Andrews 4
- The Nationals and Orioles dispute over TV money is about to explode 78
- The Red Sox are expected to deal Jon Lester and the Pirates are a “dark horse” 36
- And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights 49
- Expert’s Corner: How to troll fans of all 30 teams (201)
- “Caucasians” t-shirts are hot sellers on Canadian Indian reservations (189)
- Verducci: baseball should think about an “illegal defense” rule to combat shifts (165)
- Must-click link: sexual depravity — and possibly rape — in the minor leagues (101)
- Ray Rice is awful, but let’s not pretend baseball has a great record on domestic violence (91)