Offense, bullpen picks up Leake

The Reds clocked another three home runs to pound out a 10-3 win over the Rockies to even the three-game series heading into Sunday’s rubber game. The 10 runs are a new season high. Cincinnati improved to 1 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Cardinals, which lost to the Phillies.

Click here for the game story on

On to the three stars, sponsored by Don Cherry’s suit from Friday night.

No. 3: star: Brandon Phillips — 3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI. Phillips had a two-out RBI double that scored Zack Cozart in the first inning. Following back-to-back walks issued by Rockies reliever Esmil Rogers in the seventh, Phillips worked a 0-2 count into an 11-pitch at-bat that included six foul balls before he laced an RBI single into right field that scored Drew Stubbs.

No. 2 star: J.J. Hoover — 1 1/3 ip, 1 BB, 2 K. Hoover was awarded his first big league victory after replacing Mike Leake with two outs in the fourth. Hoover has a 0.75 ERA with one run allowed in 11 appearances this season. It was a nice night for the bullpen that allowed just one hit over 5 1/3 innings.

“All of them came in and did an outstanding job,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We need some innings from Latos though. They went from not pitching at all to pitching every day. That’s how it goes.”

No. 1 star: Chris Heisey — 2-for-3, 1 HR, 3 RBIs. As Leake was scuffling in the first and down early by a 1-0 score, Heisey’s three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the first was very big for the team. For him personally, it was his first homer of the season (in 110 ABs). Heisey has been hot the past couple of weeks and is hitting .404 (17-for-42) over his last 12 games.

“It was one of those things where it just wasn’t happening,” Heisey said of his lack of homers. “I’ve been feeling great at the plate for two weeks now. It was a matter of time.”

News and notes:

*PH Ryan Ludwick hit a three-run homer in the seventh. It was the first pinch-hit homer by the Reds this season.

*In the third inning, Jay Bruce snapped a 0-for-14 and 1-for-31 funk with a RBI double through the gap in right-center field that scored Joey Votto.

*Speaking of Votto, he notched two more doubles in the game, gving him a MLB leading 21 for the season. He has six hits in his last seven ABs.

*It was not a good night for Leake, who lasted only 3 2/3 innings and was knocked around for nine hits.

“I was missing just off instead of on the plate,” Leake said. “When I was on the plate, I was too much on the plate. It was kind of missed spots today.”

*I’m off on Sunday. Catch you Monday from Pittsburgh.

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