The Cincinnati Reds had an offensive explosion of sorts as they scored more than two runs for the first time at home in the second half as Mike Leake ended his pitching woes with 7.2 innings of shutout baseball to give the Reds a 3-0 victory on Tuesday.
Leake (8-9) had lost back-to-back outings and allowed four runs in each of his last three starts, but held Arizona (46-61) to just five hits while striking out eight. He also provided rest to a bullpen that was overworked in a 15 inning 2-1 loss on Monday. The Reds did re-call Curtis Partch to help the bullpen and take the place of Jay Bruce, who was placed on the bereavement list after the passing of his grandfather. Bruce will most likely return on Friday in Miami.
Leake got offensive help right away from Billy Hamilton who led off the first with a double and then scored on an RBI single by Todd Frazier. Unlike the day before, the Reds (53-53) added on and did so quickly in the second when Donald Lutz singled then moved to second on a wild pitch by Trevor Cahill (1-8). Zack Cozart followed with a single of his own before Leake helped his own cause with an RBI base hit.
He was able to secure the lead despite allowing the Diamondbacks to get a runner to third with one out. The Reds would add an insurance run in the sixth when Frazier singled, stole second, and then scored on an RBI single by Brayan Pena. Since the All-Star Break, Pena has driven in four of the Reds 18 runs and has hit safely in his last five games and six of the last seven.
That would be it for Cahill as the Reds were shutdown by Bo Schutlz, who was called up Tuesday to help the Arizona bullpen. Leake once again escaped a runner on third with one out as he got pinch hitter David Peralta to line out to center and end the seventh. He would not make it through the eighth as he hit Miguel Montero with two outs after striking out Aaron Hill and Paul Goldschmidt. Jonathan Broxton came on with two on and two out to face Mark Trumbo, who just missed tying the game, but instead flew out to Hamilton on the warning track.
Aroldis Chapman came on in the ninth for his 23rd save and did so by striking out Didi Gregorious to extend his consecutive relief appearances with a least one K to 45. The two teams will play an afternoon matinee with first pitch set for 12:35 on Wednesday. Alfredo Simon (12-5) looks his first win since the break and will be opposed by Wade Miley (6-7).