CLEVELAND -- The Indians needed a night like this one. After so many close games, tough finishes and missed chances of late, Cleveland was desperate for the kind of offensive showing that could allow the club to take a collective deep breath.
That type of evening arrived on Monday, when the Tribe churned out a season-high 19 hits and pushed aside Cincinnati's early push to claim a 15-6 comeback victory over the Reds at Progressive Field. Every one of Cleveland's batters had at least one hit. Each of the starting nine scored a run. The Indians were patient, moved runners and walloped a pair of home runs.
"It was real good," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We could always use those kind of games."
Just one night earlier, Cleveland suffered a tantalizing loss to the Twins, going 7-for-16 at the plate with two outs with no runs to show for it. Heading into Monday's Interleague tilt with the Reds, the Indians were 6-7 in one-run games and 1-6 in games decided in the last at-bat. Cleveland had four walk-off losses, an 0-3 record in extra innings and a 7-11 mark against sub-.500 teams.
That all adds up to a lot of frustration and high-pressure games for a team that has hopes of contending.
For at least one night, all of that pent-up offensive agony was released against Cincinnati. Rajai Davis set the tone at the top by reaching base four times in the first five innings. Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor followed with a combined 5-for-9 showing with four RBIs. Yan Gomes, whose confidence had taken a serious hit in the past couple weeks, launched a three-run home run in the sixth (his third straight game with a long ball).
"I think we needed that," said Gomes, who had two hits and four RBIs in the win. "Everybody come up there and battled back [to] get a lead. That's definitely big and definitely contagious for us -- to go out there and know that everybody in the lineup is going to step up and do something."
As Gomes alluded, Cleveland did not run away with this one from the get-go.
The Reds actually stormed to a 4-0 lead by the third inning by belting a pair of home runs off Tribe righty Cody Anderson. Then, Cleveland struck for four runs in the third, three in the fourth and five in the seventh. Reds lefty John Lamb was on the wrong end of seven runs allowed, while the Cincinnati bullpen was on the hook for the rest of the Tribe's outpouring.
"Obviously, it was a good night to hit," Anderson said. "They did a great job -- 15 runs. Hats off to them."
The production was spread up and down the order.
Mike Napoli chipped in a pair of RBI singles. Marlon Byrd crushed a two-run homer in the sixth. Davis knocked in one with a single. Carlos Santana contributed a run-scoring sacrifice fly. All told, Cleveland had seven players enjoy a multi-hit game and five cross the plate at least twice.
"It was just nice to spread a game out," Francona said, "so those guys can relax a bit."
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.