CINCINNATI — Joey Votto hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning, lifting the Cincinnati Reds over the Cleveland Indians 4-2 today in the opener of their intrastate matchup.
Votto won this interleague game with his ninth homer, tagging left-hander Nick Hagadone (0-1). The reliever was called up from Triple-A earlier in the day when closer Chris Perez was put on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder.
Shin-Soo Choo led off the Reds’ eighth with a single and moved around on a passed ball and Zack Cozart’s sacrifice bunt. Votto followed with an opposite-field shot into the seats in left.
Choo, traded from the Indians to the Reds in the offseason, also hit a leadoff homer in the first.
Jason Giambi tied it in the Indians’ eighth with a long pinch-hit homer. The solo shot was estimated at 467 feet and caromed off the batter’s background in center field. His ninth career pinch-hit homer ended his 0-for-24 slump and was third homer of the season and first since April 20.
Jonathan Broxton (2-1) got two outs in the eighth. Arodis Chapman pitched the ninth for his 13th save.
Reds starter Mike Leake one earned run and five hits in 7 1-3 innings, striking out seven. He left with a no-decision after giving up Giambi’s homer.
Ubaldo Jimenez, 3-0 in five previous career starts against Cincinnati, gave up four hits and two runs in seven innings.
Choo, sent to the Reds with infielder Jason Donald and cash for outfielder Drew Stubbs and infielder Didi Gregorius in December, led with his 10th homer of the season.
The Indians took advantage of an error by another former Indians player, Gold Glove second baseman Brandon Phillips, to tie it in the fourth.
Jason Kipnis singled and took third when Phillips mishandled Nick Swisher’s grounder. Carlos Santana’s sacrifice fly made it 1-all.
Cozart led off the sixth with a double that just nicked the outside of the left-field line, advanced on Votto’s groundout to second and scored on Phillips’ sacrifice fly.
NOTES: The Reds improved to 40-42 in their inter-league series with the Indians. ... The sellout crowd was the fourth straight for the Reds, the second time they’d had four consecutive sellout crowds since moving from Crosley Field in 1970 and the first time since 2004. ... Reds RHP Mat Latos (4-0) will try to stay undefeated in the second game of the brief two-game series on Tuesday. He’ll be opposed by Cleveland RHP Zach McAllister (4-3).