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Mike Leake Puts Troubles Behind Him and Helps Reds end 4-game Losing Streak

Posted By Cliff Eastham On Apr 22 2011 @ 1:18 pm In Cincinnati Reds | 2 Comments

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Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Mike Leake did not look like a 23-year old with legal problems and the baseball world inspecting him on a petri dish. The second-year former Arizona State Sun Devil picked up his third win of the season as the Reds beat the Diamondbacks 7-4 behind Joey Votto’s solo blast and a pair of 2-RBI games from Miguel Cairo and Paul Janish.

Leake was arrested Monday for shoplifting six shirts at a Macy’s store in downtown Cincinnati.  Some internet scuttlebutt claimed that Leake was merely exchanging the clothes without following the proper procedures, such as allowing an employee to assist in the transaction.

After getting Arizona’s second baseman, Kelly Johnson to fly out in the first inning, it began to look like business as usual for the Reds starting pitchers. Newborn Reds “killer” Ryan Roberts doubled to left and later scored on Stephen Drew’s single.

The Reds’ pitchers, headed by Edinson Volquez have been notoriously horrendous in the first inning this young season.

Cincinnati erupted for a 4-spot in the home half of the first, as they drew three walks, hit three singles and Ramon Hernandez was hit by a pitch.

Leake gave up another run in the second inning sandwiched between two walks and a single. Then he settled down and retired eight in a row before Johnson lit him up in the 5th.

He then retired the next eight batters before handing the keys to Logan Ondrusek after 7 complete innings. It was his 3rd quality start in 4 appearances this season.

Arizona won the series opener 5-4 as Armando Galarraga (3-0) pitched six strong innings. Reds starter Sam LeCure (0-1) was tagged with the loss. Chris Young and Johnson both homered while Roberts went yard twice. Drew Stubbs hit his 4th HR of the year for the Reds in the losing cause.

Arizona won the second game, this time by a score of 3-1, as Ian Kennedy (2-1) out-dueled Bronson Arroyo (2-2).

The Reds recent tailspin reduced them to a share of the division lead with three of the other five teams at 9-9. The St. Louis Cardinals kept the pace with a 5-0 shutout of the Washington Nationals, while the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers were idle.

The weekend series with the Cardinals has wider appeal as they start off in a tie for first place. Saturday and Sunday night’s game will both be televised nationally. Volquez will start the series opener Friday night against Kyle McClellan. Saturday’s game on Fox will feature Travis Wood and Chris Carpenter. The series will end Sunday night on ESPN with Sam LeCure taking the hill for the Reds while Cards’ manager Tony LaRussa hasn’t decided who will start for him.

Series notes:

  • The Diamondbacks won their second series of the season against the Reds. It was the third series the Reds have lost so far against three wins.
  • Reigning MVP Joey Votto is now the league leader in batting with a .418 average. He is also the leader in OBP with .518, and is second to Troy Tulowitzki in OPS.
  • The starting rotation of the Reds has a collective ERA of 5.16. The team’s overall ERA of 4.43 is above the league average of 3.89 and ranks 11th of the 16 teams in the NL.
  • The only starters who are still batting .300 or better are Votto, Brandon Phillips (.350) and Ramon Hernandez (.351).
  • Roberts finished the series with 4 hits in 10 trips, including 2 HR and 4 RBI. Johnson was 4-12 with a pair of homers as well.

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