Harang's shutout, Freel's five hits fuel Reds' victory

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Aaron Harang is not quite sure why he feels at home on the road.

Harang pitched his second shutout of the season and Ryan Freel had a career-high five hits to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-0
win over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.

It was the first time the Indians were ever shut out by a National League team in Cleveland in 105 games, including five World Series.

Harang (8-5) allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out six. The right-hander improved to 6-2 with a 1.57 ERA in eight road starts as Cincinnati won for the 10th time in its last 12 games away from home.

"I don't know what it is," said Harang, who pitched a five-hitter in an 11-0 win at Milwaukee on April 23. "I've just been throwing better in different ballparks. It's just one of those weird thngs about this game you can't explain."

The right-hander made 117 pitches and said he really wanted the complete game.

"They asked me how I felt after the eighth and I told them I definitely wanted to go back out there," he said. "They gave me 15 pitches to get it done and I did."

Freel went 5-for-5 and is hitting .418 (33-for-79) in his last 22 games.

"That was fun," said Freel, who also had two stolen bases. "I'm a little superstitious. I'll probably wear these same pants tomorrow."

The Indians will probably keep making changes, however. Wedge shook up the lineup, but Cleveland still dropped the opening game of a series for the 10th straight time. Ben Broussard was benched and replaced by catcher Victor Martinez, who played first base for the first time in the majors. Rookie Kelly Shoppach was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo and started at catcher.

Cleveland has lost six of its last seven overall, all to National League teams, and is 3-7 in interleague play after going a major league-best 15-3 in 2005.

"It's difficult right now, but we've just got to rise above it," Wedge said. "Hopefully, we'll break out in a big way."

Grady Sizemore and Ronnie Belliard each singled to open the Indians' eighth, but Harang got Jhonny Peralta to hit into a double play and Travis Hafner to bounce back to the mound to end the threat.

"Harang just shut us down," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "The one opportunity we had, he got the double play. We had trouble laying off the high fastball and he mixed it up with curves and sliders, too."

Cincinnati won for only the fourth time in its last 14 games overall and improved to 2-5 in interleague play.

"Freel ... oh, man," said Reds manager Jerry Narron. "He's got so much value."

Freel doubled over the head of left fielder Todd Hollandsworth to open the game and scored when Felipe Lopez hit the next pitch from Jake Westbrook (6-4) for a double.

In the fourth, Scott Hatteberg lined a two-out double the other way to left and scored on a bloop single to right by Austin Kearns to make it 2-0.

Freel beat out an infield single for his third hit in the fifth, stole second and scored on a two-out single up the middle by Rich Aurilia.

Freel also made two great plays at third base.

In the fifth inning, he made a backhanded stop of a sharp grounder hit by Franklin Gutierrez, got up and made a strong throw to just beat the speedy outfielder at first. Then in the seventh, he made a diving catch of a liner hit by Hollandsworth.

Westbrook allowed three runs and eight hits over six innings, walking two and striking out four. The right-hander lost at home for the first time in seven starts this season.

"I can say I battled and only gave up three, but my job tonight was to give up none," said Westbrook.

Game notes
Harang improved to 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in five starts against Cleveland. ... Freel's two steals gave him 101 for his
career. The Reds have been successful on each of their last 14 steal attempts. ... Indians third baseman Aaron Boone snapped an 0-for-15 streak with a seventh-inning single. ... The attendance of 32,927 was Cleveland's third-largest crowd of the season.