Cliff Lee and the Cleveland Indians got their comeuppance.
Adam Dunn homered for the fourth straight game, and Joey Votto finished off the previously untouchable Lee with the first pinch-hit homer of his career yesterday, leading host Reds to a 6-4 victory and a three-game sweep of the Indians.
"I haven't seen that in a long time," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Rare things happened all around.
For starters, no one had treated Lee (6-1) so roughly all season.
The lefthander came into the game on an amazing run, having allowed only four earned runs and one homer all season for an ERA of 0.67. Now it's up to 1.37. Cincinnati's lefthanded swingers got the best of him, deciding a matchup of the majors' two stingiest starters.
Both homers came on belt-high pitches right down the middle, the type of mistake that Lee had avoided until Sunday.
"Both of the pitches to Dunn and Votto I wish I had back," Lee said. "Sometimes you don't get the results you want. Today was one of those games."
Edinson Volquez (7-1) gave up four hits and a pair of runs in six innings, raising his earned run average from 1.12 to 1.33. Cleveland's Michael Aubrey, a first-round draft pick called up a day earlier, homered for his first hit in the majors.
It was the first time Volquez had given up more than one earned run in a game this season.
"I didn't have my best stuff today," Volquez said. "I didn't feel I had too much energy. My arm was not as strong as it used to be."
Still, it was good enough to get him the win and let him take over the major leagues' ERA lead.
"That's what I'm looking for," said Volquez, who came from Texas in the Josh Hamilton trade and has dominated with his 94 mph fastball and darting changeup. "I want to be somebody special in the big leagues."
Lee's run of special starts hit a wall.
The lefthander gave up 10 hits and six runs (five earned) in only 5 2/3 innings, more runs than he had allowed in his seven previous starts combined. It was a stunning setback for Lee, who came in with a 10-1 career mark in interleague games, the best around.
"I made a couple of bad pitches and we lost," Lee said.
The Indians got swept in Cincinnati for the first time because they couldn't get clutch hits and they couldn't handle a lineup that is finally starting to hit.
"A bad series," manager Eric Wedge said. "We didn't play very well, we didn't hit very well. You do that, you're going to get beat. You're going to get beat like this."
Dunn was the difference-maker, driving in the go-ahead run in all three weekend games. He had a bases-loaded walk for 4-3 victory in the opener, then hit a three-run homer in the ninth for a 4-2 on Saturday.
Against Lee, he connected on a belt-high pitch for his 10th homer and a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning.
"Those are the same pitches I was grounding out on or popping up or striking out," said Dunn, batting .221. "I knew I was going to start hitting. They're the same pitches. That's what I've been dealing with all year."
Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his ninth save in 10 chances.
In other interleague games:
* At New York, Oliver Perez (4-3) shut down the slumping New York Yankees, Jose Reyes homered for the second consecutive game and the visiting Mets cruised to an 11-2 rout of their crosstown rivals.
Ryan Church also homered and Moises Alou drove in three runs for the Mets, who beat Chien-Ming Wang (6-2) and won a series at Yankee Stadium for only the second time since interleague play began in 1997. They took two of three in 2005.
This one was a two-game sweep after Johan Santana beat the Yankees Saturday, 7-4. Friday night's opener was rained out and is likely to be made up when the teams meet again June 27-29, possibly with a two-ballpark doubleheader.
* At Arlington, Texas, Brandon Backe (3-5) pitched into the seventh inning, Miguel Tejada had three hits and Houston beat the Rangers, 5-4. Backe retired the first nine batters of the game and didn't give up a run until allowing consecutive homers to Milton Bradley and David Murphy in the seventh.
* At San Francisco, Nick Swisher hit a tiebreaking three-run double in the eighth as a pinch-hitter, lifting Chicago to a 13-8 win over the Giants, the White Sox' fifth straight win.
* At Phoenix, Randy Johnson (4-1) pitched seven scoreless innings for his 288th career victory, and Arizona improved to a major league-best 28-16 with a 4-0 win over Detroit.
* At Boston, David Ortiz homered twice and drove in four runs as the Red Sox beat Milwaukee, 11-7. Haverford product Mike DeFelice made his major league debut, allowing three runs in one inning on five hits.
* At Denver, Jeff Francis (1-4) won for the first time this season and Todd Helton homered and drove in three runs, helping Colorado beat Minnesota, 6-2, in the rubber match of their three-game series.
* At Miami, Jose Guillen homered and drove in four runs and Zack Greinke (5-1) went six innings as Kansas City beat Florida, 9-3. The Royals won for the sixth time in seven games.
* At Atlanta, Yunel Escobar had three hits, including a go-ahead, two-run single, and Omar Infante added a two-run triple in the eighth inning as the Braves beat Oakland, 5-2.
* At St. Louis, Skip Schumaker doubled with one out in the ninth inning over a drawn-in outfield, driving in the winning run and capping the Cardinals' rally from a three-run deficit to beat Tampa Bay, 5-4.
* At Seattle, Jose Lopez lined a two-out, two-run double in the eighth and the Mariners edged San Diego, 3-2. Heath Bell (0-3) took the loss and ex-Phillie Arthur Rhodes (2-0) got the final out of the eighth to get the victory.
* At Baltimore, John Lannan (4-4) took a three-hitter into the eighth inning, Cristian Guzman homered, and Washington ended the Orioles four-game winning streak with a 2-1 win.
* At Anaheim, Mike Napoli homered twice and drove in a career-high five runs to power the Los Angeles Angels over the Dodgers, 10-2. The Angels took two of three in the "Freeway Series."
In a National League game:
* At Chicago, Reed Johnson hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly and Cubs batters walked seven times against Phil Dumatrait (1-2) en route to a 4-3 win over Pittsburgh. Cubs starter Jason Marquis (2-3) won for the first time since April 19. *