On the verge of being swept the Chicago Cubs the Cincinnati Reds desperately needed to avert the Cubs mission of doing just that.
Mike Leake and the Reds offense would do that Wednesday afternoon in Cincinnati dominating the Cubs 6-0 on a hot afternoon.
A night after getting embarrassed 9-1 by the Cubs in a game that saw rookie Tony Cingrani (7-4) leave after only 1.2IP after what appeared to be a back injury the Reds looked to bounce back Wednesday. Bounce back is exactly what they would do behind an outstanding outing by Mike Leake (13-6).
Leake would only go 5.2IP for the Reds but that is all the team would need. Leake quickly approached the 100 pitch mark in the 5th, with two outs Dusty Baker made the move to pull him. Leake exited the game after 5.2IP, 4H, 6SO and no earned runs. Cincinnati needed a great outing after straining their bullpen the night before.
JJ Hoover relieved Leake pitching to only one batter, five pitches is all Hoover would see. Alfredo Simon, Manny Parra and Sam LeCure closed out the game for the Reds only allowing 2 hits. A night after Dusty relied heavily on the bullpen, the bullpen did a stellar job this afternoon.
The offense, the hot then cold then hot then luke warm offense was surprisingly hot today as they should be with an air temperature around 90. Xavier Paul grounded out to second in the 2nd to score Jay Bruce giving the Reds a 1 run lead. Zach Cozart would also ground out in the 2nd scoring Todd Frazier for an early 2-0 lead.
From there the long ball would aid the Reds as both Devin Mesoraco and Jack Hannahan would both go yard. Mesoraco a solo blast while Hannahan hit a three run blast giving the Reds a 6-0 lead, a lead they wouldn’t look back from.
Hannahan hit his first home run of the season and his first pinch hitting home run of his career. “It felt like I got the monkey off my back, the last two years, I hit home runs on opening day. It was huge.” said Hannahan after his first homer of the season.
Devin Mesoraco lead the team today going 3-4 with a home run. Offensively the Reds managed to get 8 hits off the Cubs pitching. With 12 runners on base the Reds scored 6 of them. .500 average on scoring runners isn’t bad but isn’t great, if there is one thing that the Reds still need to work on it would be that.
With their first off day in over 10 days tomorrow the Reds will travel to Milwaukee to face the NL Central basement dwelling Brewers for a three game weekend series.
Mat Latos (14-5) will take the mound against Kyle Lohse (9-9) at 8:10pm.