Tough day for Leake
Mike Leake had a lousy performance for the Reds in a 6-2 loss vs. the Phillies. He lasted only 2 1/3 innings and gave up six runs on six hits with two home runs. This isn’t a good time for him to be having these kinds of outings. Leake is 7-9 with a 4.73 ERA and he’s trying to crack the postseason roster. Although he won his previous two starts and three of four, he’ll need better outcomes than this.
Leake is not a good matchup for the Phillies — 0-3 with a 9.33 ERA in five starts (28 ER, 27 ip). He gave up a three-run homer in the second inning to Erik Kratz and a two-run homer in the third to Chase Utley.
“He was getting the ball up. The three-run homer hurt on a slider that didn’t slide,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
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The Three Stars:
No. 3 star: Joey Votto — 2-for-3, two singles and a walk. Votto didn’t look like he missed 50 games. He lined a Roy Halladay pitch into left field for a single in his first at-bat. Votto also got to test his left knee with a slide into second base trying to break up a double play.
“It’s going to take a day like today where I have to almost work my way back into it, shrink it down and try to do a little less. Eventually I will be able to stretch it out – hopefully,” Votto said.
A full Votto sidebar story will be up shortly on MLB.com/Reds.com. Check it out.
No. 2 star: Jay Bruce — 3-for-4, two doubles, HR, 2 RBIs. Bruce now has homers in a career-best four-straight games and five of six. His 32 homers overall tied a career high. Bruce has improved his home run total every season he’s been in the big leagues.
“I’d like to hope it’s indicative to the experience I am gaining and the comfort I have up here,” Bruce said. “I’m really trusting my ability and letting the game come to me and not trying to force things. That’s one of the hardest things for me to do – relax, take what they give you and let the opportunities present themselves and better capitalize on them.”
No. 1 star: Roy Halladay, PHI — 7 1/3 ip, 8 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 104 pitches/69 strikes. Halladay was given the early 6-0 lead and never looked back. Bruce’s two-out RBI double in the fourth was his only blemish. When given a lead of four runs or more, Halladay is 110-0 in his career.
“There were some tough at-bats,” Halladay said. “They’ve got some guys that are some good players. I thought Joey Votto would be a little more rusty than he was coming back. He didn’t seem like he missed a beat.”
News and notes:
The Cardinals lost also today so the Reds keep their 8 1/2 game lead in the NL Central. And for the first time on this blog in 2012: the magic number for the Reds to clinch is now 17.
*Todd Frazier singled in the ninth inning to reach base in a team-high 28 straight games.
*Didi Gregorius made a spectacular catch on a tough pop up from Juan Pierre in the fourth. Gregorius twisted his body in mid-air to catch the ball.
*The Reds bullpen retired the final 17 Phillies in a row. That included Pedro Vilarreal, who made his big league debut with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.