Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) – Mike Leake dazzled on the mound and hit his
fifth career home run to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-1 win over the
Atlanta Braves in the opener of a four-game series.
Leake outdueled one of the hottest pitchers in baseball, Shelby Miller, who
hadn’t lost a regular-season game since Aug. 11 of last season, a span of 12
Leake (1-1) limited Atlanta to two hits and two walks over eight scoreless
innings. The Reds backed him with four home runs as a team, with all four
coming in the seventh inning or later.
Miller (3-1) struck out nine batters, his highest total since June 2013, but
took the loss after allowing three runs — two earned — on six hits over
It took a passed ball for the Reds to finally break through for a run after
five scoreless innings.
Billy Hamilton led off the visiting sixth and struck out swinging, but was
safe at first on the play after catcher Christian Bethancourt dropped the
pitch. Zack Cozart followed with a single to left and Joey Votto doubled to
easily score Hamilton and make it 1-0.
After Jay Bruce was walked intentionally to load the bases, Miller avoided
further damage in the inning by fanning Marlon Byrd and getting Skip Schumaker
to line out to left.
Tucker Barnhart and Leake hit back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning.
Todd Frazier stroked his second homer of the season in the eighth and Hamilton
went yard in the ninth.
Leake didn’t allow a hit after the second inning. Tony Cingrani pitched the
ninth and served up Freddie Freeman’s RBI double that broke up the shutout.
Leake became the first pitcher to hit a home run this season … Atlanta has
dropped three straight games … Cincinnati finished 1-for-11 with runners in
scoring position and stranded eight.