With the second half beginning with arguably the biggest series of the season for this Cincinnati Reds ballclub against the Pittsburgh Pirates who are they looking up in the NL Central and they were able to win the first game of the weekend showdown 5-3 on Friday Night in front of sold out Great American BallPark
It was Mike Leake on the mound for the Reds and Francisco Liriano for the Pirates. The offense for the Reds got Leake run support early as Chris Heisey homered to right in the first to give the Reds a early 1-0 lead. Leake was great through the first four innings of the game allowing only three hits and no runs.
Offense erupted loudly in the bottom of the fifth inning Devin Mesaraco lead off with a double but was thrown out on third by bad base running on Mesaraco’s part as Leake reached on a fielders choice, Shin Soo Choo singled to center then Heisey picked up his second RBI of the game with a single to left to make it 2-0. They weren’t done Votto walked then Brandon Phillips stepped in with the bases loaded and him came through again doubling to left center clearing the bases to make it 5-0 and it look like the Reds were gonna pull this one off easy.
Leake entered the sixth inning allowing no runs on three hits well that changed he allowed three solo home runs key word was “solo”. Logan Ondrusek replaced Leake got out of trouble with runners on to escape the inning. Leake does get the win his 9th of the season and also is 3-0 this season against Pittsburgh.
Bullpen for the Reds have been outstanding these last couple of weeks and it was the case tonight after Leake was done the crew of Ondrusek, Simon, Parra, LeCure and Chapman go four scoreless innings, allowed three hits and while striking out six if they can sustained this while waiting for Marshall and Broxton to comeback watch out.
In the ninth Aroldis Chapman came in got two outs and then allowed a single to bring the tying run up to the plate as it was a pinch hitter for the Pirates got him to pop out to Phillps to end the game to preserve the save his 22nd.
With the win Reds improve to 31- 16 at home and are now three games out of second place Pittsburgh. Tomorrow afternoon is a pitching duel as it will be Mat Latos for the Reds and AJ Burnett for the Pirates first pitch is at 4:05pm as it will be on FOX as the game of the week.