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Hamilton and Leake keep Reds from being swept in St. Louis

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The Cincinnati Reds avoided a sweep at the hands of the Cardinals in St. Louis on Wednesday with a 4-0 win thanks to big days from Mike Leake and Billy Hamilton.

The Reds (3-6) salvaged another series and are 2-4 against the Cardinals (5-4) already this season. Leake (1-1) was stellar through eight innings, allowing just four hits. Shelby Miller (0-2) struggled through the middle innings, surrendering three runs in six innings on seven hits.

Hamilton reached base four times in five trips to the plate, had a triple, two singles, two stolen bases, and scored two runs. He was able to advance to third on a shallow pop fly and then scored on a ball that barely made it into the outfield.

Devin Mesoraco continued his strong return as he hit his first homer of the season to score Chris Heisey and give Leake all the run support he needed. In his first eight at bats since being activated from the disabled list on Monday, Mesoraco has three extra base hits, has two RBI, and has scored twice.

Leake stifled Cardinals hitters, as he faced the minimum from the second through the sixth, and didn't allow a base runner to reach second until the seventh inning with two outs. He responded by retiring the next four hitters before he was taken out of the game after throwing 100 pitches.

Manny Parra came on in relief of Leake and was equally effective setting the final three Cardinals down in order. So far in his 5.2 innings, the lefty reliever has yet to allow a hit to right-handed batters, and hitters are batting just .150 with four strikeouts.

The Reds return home after an off day Thursday where they welcome the Rays (5-5) and the Pirates (5-2) for a six game stand. Tampa Bay will send David Price (1-0, 4.05 ERA) against Johnny Cueto (0-1, 1.93 ERA) in the opener. It will be the first interleague series for both teams.

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