Nix powers Reds past slumping Indians

CLEVELAND -- Dusty Baker knew the Cincinnati Reds needed this win in a major way.

A day after blowing a six-run lead in the ninth inning, the Reds rebounded Friday night and defeated the Cleveland Indians 7-4.

"That was big," the Reds manager said. "Especially after yesterday."

On Thursday, closer Francisco Cordero gave up a game-winning, pinch-hit grand slam to Brooks Conrad in a 10-9 loss. Before Friday's game, Baker was hoping his team had moved on from the stunning defeat.

A few hours later, his question was answered.

"You don't have a choice, really," Baker said. "You can dwell on it and stay in it or you can put it behind you. That shows the kind of character this team has. You have to do that in this game. You don't have time to feel down about the game you just played. When that happens, depression sets in and nothing good comes out of it."

Laynce Nix had three hits, including a tiebreaking double in the sixth inning, sending the slumping Indians to their fifth straight loss, despite a big night from Shin-Soo Choo. Moved from third to second in the batting order, Choo homered twice and had three hits and three RBIs, but Cleveland fell to a season-worst 10 games below .500.

Jonny Gomes and Brandon Phillips also homered for the Reds.

Bronson Arroyo (4-2) allowed four runs in 6 2/3 innings and won his third straight start. Cordero pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 17 chances.

Nix played a major role in the win after Conrad's homer Thursday deflected off his glove as he reached over the top of the wall, a replay that was shown countless times.

"I was there," Nix said. "I didn't need to see it."

Nix hit a leadoff homer in the third, doubled and scored in the fourth off starter Jake Westbrook, and doubled in the go-ahead run in the sixth off Aaron Laffey (0-1).

"It's our job to turn the page every day, no matter what," Nix said. "That was a tough loss, but it doesn't linger long and we don't remember it."

Gomes hit a two-run homer in the fourth that broke a 1-1 tie. Ryan Hanigan's double gave the Reds a 4-1 lead, but Arroyo couldn't hold it. Trevor Crowe drove in a run with a double before Choo, who hit a solo homer in the first, homered on the first pitch to tie the game.

Gomes walked to lead off the sixth and scored on Nix's broken-bat double into the right-field corner. Orlando Cabrera added an RBI single later in the inning for the Reds, who are 17-7 since April 25.

Cordero, who retired all three hitters he faced on 10 pitches, was pleased to get a chance to redeem himself so quickly.

"It's good to come back the next day," he said. "It's hard to bounce back from a game like that."

Cincinnati also suffered a walk-off defeat Wednesday, losing 5-4 to the Braves by allowing a run in the ninth.

"In the past, we've let tough losses slow us down for two or three days in a row," Arroyo said. "That can be devastating to a team. We've been bouncing back good, which is great. It's not easy to do that, especially when you lose two heartbreakers in a row."

Phillips hit a solo homer in the ninth off Kerry Wood.

The Indians have scored 16 runs during their losing streak. Cleveland manager Manny Acta made some lineup changes to help his sputtering offense, which is playing without leadoff hitter Asdrubal Cabrera, who has a broken left forearm, and No. 2 hitter Grady Sizemore, on the disabled list with a bruised left knee. Travis Hafner was moved from cleanup to third while Austin Kearns, normally the No. 5 hitter, batted fourth.

Friday's lineup featured four players -- Crowe, Luis Valbuena, Lou Marson and Jason Donald -- who spent the majority of last season playing in Triple-A. The four combined to go 1-for-14.

"With a lot of young guys in the lineup, you're going to take your lumps -- as a manager and as a team," Acta said.

Game notes
The Ohio Cup series is tied 32-32, but the Reds are 10-3 against Cleveland since 2008. ... Gomes is hitting .343 (12-for-35) with four homers and eight RBIs as the DH in interleague games. ... Indians first baseman Russell Branyan snapped an 0-for-13 slump with a second-inning single. He singled again in the sixth but is still in a 3-for-26 skid. ... Third baseman Jhonny Peralta was hitless in three at-bats, ending his 10-game hitting streak.