CINCINNATI -- The Indians' struggles with the bases loaded this season have been well-documented. In a 5-3, 11-inning win over the Reds on Sunday, Cleveland found a one-game solution, drawing four walks with the bags full to claim two of three in the Interleague set at Great American Ball Park.
For the first time since 1969, the Indians drew four free passes with the bases loaded in a game. Michael Brantley accounted for two (one against Reds starter Johnny Cueto), Francisco Lindor had another and Yan Gomes capped it off with a go-ahead, bases-loaded walk in a two-run 11th to help the Tribe to the victory.
"A win's a win," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Once we got punched in the stomach, I liked the way we kept playing."
Cueto, who may very well be auditioning for other clubs as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, issued six walks and lasted only four innings -- the first time he has hit those marks in a start in his career. The righty gave up two runs on four hits in a no-decision, but the damage came via a pair of bases-loaded walks (Lindor in the second and Brantley in the fourth).
"I feel really well today, I feel outstanding today," Cueto said. "But things happen. This is what happened. I don't think [very often] in all my career I've walked six batters in one game. It just happened. Things happened. It's as simple as that."
The Tribe's offense did not mount much otherwise -- ending 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and 0-for-7 with the bases loaded -- but the club's 10 walks paved the way to the win. In the final frame, Cleveland overcame a blown save by Cody Allen with Gomes' walk and a sacrifice fly by Jason Kipnis.
"That's not something you really see," Gomes said of the four run-scoring walks. "It shows that little bit of patience that we have. Even I had a bases-loaded walk, which is definitely something I'm not looking for."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Suarez homers:Eugenio Suarez got the Reds on the board in the second with his fifth home run of the season. He was able to get just enough of an 86-mph slider from Carlos Carrasco to send it over the left-field wall to tie the game, 1-1. It was the lone run allowed by Carrasco in his six-inning no-decision (six strikeouts, one walk and four hits).
Hamilton's diving grab: The Indians were threatening to add to their lead in the seventh inning with runners on second and third base when Gomes (pinch-hitting) hit a sharp liner to center field. However, Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton was there to make the diving snag to rob Gomes of the hit and RBI. Mike Aviles was on third base but was unable to score on the play.
"He thought if it bounced, he wasn't going to make it, because Hamilton throws good," Francona said of Aviles not scoring on the play. "Still, you've got to probably get back and, if you see it bounce, take off. That's a tough run not to get."
Bourgeois' big hit: After the Reds scored one run in the eighth on a Joey Votto RBI single, they struck again in the ninth to pull into a 3-3 deadlock. With two outs against Allen, Suarez doubled to center. Jason Bourgeois then followed with a single to right field, scoring Suarez and forcing extra innings. It was Bourgeois' first RBI of 2015.
"It was great," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Any time, especially when you get a guy that's been primarily a bench player to come in and feel like he's contributing with a nice play in the outfield or a big base hit, it feels twice as good, because these guys get way less opportunities to be productive. So when they're able to get that opportunity to step up and do a great job, we all feel great for them. He did a wonderful job."
"You had that 24 baserunners and only five scored, and of those five, four were on bases-loaded walks to go with a sacrifice fly. You don't see games like this, just not at this level very often. It was a game for the ages" -- Price, on rarity of four runs scoring on walks
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Hamilton has gone 44-for-49 on stolen-base attempts against teams other than the Indians this season. Against the Tribe, Cincinnati's fleet-footed outfielder has gone just 1-for-3. Cleveland is the only team to catch Hamilton twice this season, and both stops have come via the arm of catcher Roberto Perez. He cut down Hamilton once Sunday and once on May 23.
This represented the first time since June 25, 1969, (on the road against Boston) that the Indians drew at least four bases-loaded walks in one game. The last time Cincinnati issued at least four bases-loaded walks in a game was on Sept. 20, 1970, against Atlanta. More >
Reds closer Aroldis Chapman struck out Giovanny Urshela with the bases loaded in the 10th inning to become the fastest pitcher in MLB history to reach 500 career strikeouts. It took Chapman 292 innings to earn the milestone, shattering the record of 305 innings formerly held by Craig Kimbrel of the Padres. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Indians: Cleveland will head to Milwaukee for the first time since 2006 on Tuesday for the first tilt in a two-game Interleague set with the Brewers. Righty Danny Salazar (8-4, 3.74 ERA) will take the hill for the Tribe in the 8:10 p.m. ET contest. Salazar logged 8 2/3 strong innings in his last start on July 10 but has lasted fewer than five innings in three of his past five turns.
Reds: Rookie right-hander Michael Lorenzen (3-4, 3.53 ERA) will take the mound for the Reds on Monday in the first of four games in three days against the Cubs at Great American Ball Park. Lorenzen struggled against Chicago on June 11, but he is 2-2 with a 2.82 ERA in his five starts since then. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. ET.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.