A long trip away from home has helped the Cleveland Indians' hitters, who have led their team to consecutive comeback victories.
To earn a season-high third straight win, the Indians could use better hitting in their home state and against their interleague rivals.Cleveland concludes its trek with the opener of a three-game series versus the struggling Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.Coming into their 10-game trip, the Indians (16-26) were batting .266 overall and .249 with runners in scoring position, but have hit .314 and .352, respectively, in those categories during stops in Tampa Bay and Kansas City.In an 8-3 win Thursday, the Indians became only the second opponent to score two runs off Royals ace Zack Greinke, who allowed a season-high eight hits in six innings -- his shortest outing since a five-inning start April 13 against the Indians.After chasing Greinke, Cleveland reached Kansas City's bullpen for six runs in the seventh and eighth innings to overcome a one-run deficit. That rally came after a 6-5 win Wednesday night, when the Indians scored four times in those same innings to climb out of a two-run hole."We faced a pitcher who's at the top of his game every time out and we wore him out, I think," starting pitcher Carl Pavano said. "It looked like he was kind of laboring and we got him out of there and were able to get to the bullpen."Cleveland's .243 home batting average is third worst in the AL, and the Indians have hit .248 while dropping six of their last seven to the Reds (21-19). They've also batted .218 in four straight losses at the Great American Ball Park.Indians catcher Victor Martinez has moved his average back to .400 by going 17 for 34 (.500) over the last eight games, but the major league's leading hitter was 2 for 13 (.154) in last season's series in Cincinnati.The Reds, meanwhile, have cooled off offensively while losing five of six, but they could get their top hitter back this weekend.Cincinnati batted .302 during a 10-4 stretch from April 29-May 13, but has hit .213 in the last six games. First baseman Joey Votto has missed four of those contests due to an inner ear infection.Votto, who is hitting .366, is expected to work out Friday, which could determine his status for the series."He told me last night that he was feeling pretty good," manager Dusty Baker said following Thursday's 12-5 loss to visiting Philadelphia. "I still wanted to give him a couple of days to get his feet under him."The Reds also placed Edinson Volquez on the disabled list Thursday with a sore back, and Bronson Arroyo will start in his place Friday while pitching on his usual four days' rest.Arroyo (5-3, 6.56 ERA) gave up one earned run over six innings June 29 at Progressive Field, but has alternated losses and wins since a 3-0 start, including Sunday's 3-1 defeat in San Diego.The Indians' Anthony Reyes (1-1, 6.88) will come in with two extra days of rest and might need it after going 0-1 with an 8.84 ERA in his last four starts. He is 1-2 with an 8.53 ERA in four against the Reds -- all with the St. Louis Cardinals.St. Louis Cardinals