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Lewis collects his second RBI single

CINCINNATI -- The typical summer heat descended on Great American Ball Park on Sunday, but Cincinnati's offense looked plenty refreshed.

After a two-day dry spell, the Reds opened the floodgates in the middle of an 87-degree afternoon. The hits poured in -- 11 in all -- as the Reds avoided a sweep with a 7-5 victory over the Indians.

In their previous two games, the Reds managed just three total runs on 14 hits.

The Reds were 4-for-5 with runners in scoring position on Sunday. In their two previous losses, they were a combined 1-for-14.

"The big thing is to try and drive in that guy from second base and third base as much as possible, which in this series we haven't," left fielder Fred Lewis said. "I don't know how many guys we left on base, but going into the break we want to get as many wins as we can, because we don't want to be out of it right when the All-Star break comes."

Lewis was part of a group of Reds backups who led the way Sunday. Lewis, who splits time in left with Jonny Gomes and Chris Heisey, went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs. Heisey, who started in center in place of Drew Stubbs, hit his ninth homer of the season.

Playing third to give Scott Rolen a day off, Miguel Cairo went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored. Edgar Renteria, who splits time at shortstop with Paul Janish, hit his first home run of the year, a shot to right that bounced off the top of the fence.

"That's why we play everybody the way we do," manager Dusty Baker said. "If you don't play them, they're not sharp when you need them. I think that's going to equate to everybody being sharp and keeping some guys strong [during] these final 2 3/4 months we have left."

Trailing, 2-0, in the second, Heisey gave the Reds a shot in the arm when he pulled a 1-1 slider from Indians starter Mitch Talbot into the left-field seats. Renteria followed with a single and advanced on a wild pitch before Cairo drove him home.

Cairo later scored when Lewis dropped a bloop single into right. Lewis drove Cairo home again in the fourth, this time on a single to center.

Later in the fourth, with the bases loaded, Joey Votto drove a run home on a sacrifice fly that was mere feet away from a grand slam. Cincinnati added another run when Ramon Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly, but the inning ended when Phillips was called out trying to take third on the same play.

Renteria gave the Reds a 7-2 lead with his fifth-inning home run, the first by a Cincinnati shortstop this season.

Talbot took the loss for the Indians, allowing six runs on 10 hits while only lasting four innings. Leake, meanwhile, improved to 8-4 on the season. The right-hander gave up four runs on four hits in six innings while walking a pair and striking out eight.

Both of those walks came at the beginning of the sixth inning, which came back to bite Leake, even if Cincinnati ultimately came out on top. After free passes to Michael Brantley and Cord Phelps, Leake retired two hitters before surrendering a two-run single to Grady Sizemore.

In the bottom half of the two previous innings, Leake had to run the bases after reaching on a fielder's choice and a single in the fourth and fifth, respectively.

"All that running on the bases and the heat got to him," Baker said. "In the sixth, when he walked those guys, he wasn't even close to the plate. And he had been so sharp all day long."

Leake disagreed, though: "I wasn't too gassed. I just wasn't throwing the ball where I wanted. I was getting [away from my mechanics], and I was just kind of letting the ball drift on me."

Either way, the Reds' offense gave its pitcher enough run support. The seven-run effort allowed Cincinnati to get its first win against Cleveland in six tries this season. The Reds finished Interleague Play with a 6-12 record.

Cincinnati will close out the first half of the season by going to St. Louis for three games and Milwaukee for four. The teams are tied atop the National League Central standings.

"It's always nice to get back to guys you're familiar with, and they're familiar with you. Interleague wasn't real kind to us," Baker said. "We weren't real kind to ourselves, but a lot of it [was because] we didn't know. In the big leagues, scouting reports and being familiar with somebody is very important." Comments