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Indians take 6th straight game, send Reds to 8th straight loss with 5-2 win

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CLEVELAND — Indians manager Terry Francona isn't picky when it comes to winning.

That's why he wasn't about to give back Sunday's 5-2 victory over Cincinnati, even though it came with the help of some fortunate circumstances.

"We'll take anything," Francona said after Cleveland's sixth straight win. "We want to win any way we can."

The slumping Reds have lost eight in a row.

Instead of facing ace Johnny Cueto, who missed the start because of a sore right elbow, the Indians went against rookie Raisel Iglesias, making his fifth major league appearance.

"Cueto's one of the very best," Francona said. "If you miss him, that's good. That doesn't guarantee you're going to win ever, but any time you miss a guy like that ... I laugh when people say, we want to beat the best. No, we don't. We want to win. I don't care who we beat."

Trevor Bauer pitched into the eighth inning for Cleveland, which has won eight of 10.

David Murphy, Nick Swisher and Carlos Santana each drove in a run as the Indians, who were 12-21 on May 14, continued their hottest stretch of the season.

"We can't go back and undo the way that we started," Murphy said. "If you want to get down and sulk and feel sorry for yourself, that's only going to make things continue to go in the wrong direction."

The Reds committed three errors, leading to two unearned runs. Cincinnati is mired in its longest losing streak since 2009. The Reds have been outscored 54-19 during the streak that has dropped them to a season-worst seven games under .500 at 18-25.

First baseman Joey Votto, who had a throwing error in the sixth, knows the Reds need to find some solutions quickly.

"Whatever you do, avoid the loser mentality like the next game if we lose we're not surprised," he said. "Once you start adopting that behavior then you're a loser. You're used to losing, accept it and it's part of your day. If we start going down the acceptance route, we're in very big trouble."

Bauer (4-1) took a shutout into the seventh when Marlon Byrd hit a solo homer for the only run allowed by the right-hander in 7 2-3 innings.

PHOTO: Cleveland Indians' Mike Aviles is greeted Yan Gomes after Aviles scoring against the Cincinnati Reds during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, in Cleveland, Sunday, May 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Phil Long)
Cleveland Indians' Mike Aviles is greeted Yan Gomes after Aviles scoring against the Cincinnati Reds during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, in Cleveland, Sunday, May 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Phil Long)

Iglesias (1-1) allowed two runs in three innings.

Second baseman Brandon Phillips committed a fielding error in the third inning when Cleveland scored twice.

Murphy's RBI single in the third put Cleveland ahead. Swisher was given an RBI when Phillips misplayed his grounder.

A fielding error by pitcher J.J. Hoover and Votto's throwing error led to two unearned runs in the sixth.

Cleveland loaded the bases in the sixth and Votto threw wildly to first after making a diving stop of Michael Brantley's ground ball that scored two unearned runs.

Santana added an RBI single in the eighth.

Indians catcher Yan Gomes, playing for the first time since spraining his right knee on April 11, was hitless in four at-bats.

GOOD TO HAVE YOU BACK

Francona wrote Gomes' name in the lineup for the first time in six weeks Sunday. "There's a reason in a year and a half this kid has turned into a leader on our team," he said. "Not supposed to happen that quick. What he's done with his success is so important to what we're doing and appreciated. It doesn't always work that way."

TRAINER'S ROOM

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: Brantley doubled and walked after not playing Saturday. He's been dealing with a sore back since spring training.

UP NEXT

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.

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PHOTO: Cleveland Indians' Carlos Santana scores on a hit by Brandon Murphy off Cincinnati Reds' Raisel Iglesias during the third inning of a baseball game in Cleveland, Sunday, May 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Phil Long)
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