Results tagged ‘ Nick Masset ’

Postgame extra: Wood was good

The Reds kind of got away with one Thursday during a 3-2 win over the Cubs in 10 innings. There were 16 hits, and only three runs? Yowza.

The good —

*Travis Wood had a mighty nice debut and he was the biggest reason the Reds won the game — even if he wasn’t in the final decision. Wood took a two-hit shutout into the eighth inning before two walks undid a chance to win. He threw only 91 pitches and had four single-digit pitched innings.

*Wood retired 13 in a row at one point and 15 of 16. He topped out at 92 mph several times and had a full arsenal of cutters and changeups working.

“For a guy to come up in his first start and throw 10-11 pitches per inning for seven innings, especially at Wrigley Field, it’s something you really don’t see too much,” catcher Corky Miller said. “He did what he was supposed to do.”

*Scott Rolen turned a strong inning-ending double play in the eighth after the game was tied on Derrek Lee’s broken bat grounder. Had it not been turned, the Cubs would’ve taken the lead.

*Jay Bruce’s slide to break up the double play in the 10th on might have been out of the baseline but it was hard-nosed baseball right there.

“We’re taught to play the game a certain way,” Bruce said. “That’s how I play it and how we play it on this team. It does help win games. I wasn’t trying to hurt anyone or anything like that. I was trying to prevent them from turning the double play.”

The not-so-good —

*Did I mention 16 hits and only three runs? The Reds were 2-for-11 RISP and stranded 13.

“We had plenty of chances,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Rarely are you going to see 16 hits and three runs. We left a lot of guys out there but we kept the pressure on them and eeked one across in the 10th inning.”

*Nick Masset hadn’t allowed a hit in his last five appearances, but gave it up today after inheriting the 2-0 lead. After Wood’s two walks to start the eighth, a sac bunt and Tyler Colvin’s single tied the game.

Background info —

Dusty Baker said that Arthur Rhodes and Bill Bray were not available for this game. Rhodes pitched the last two games and Bray pitched two games in a row and warmed up Wednesday.

More quotes —
“I got the zone, my pitches were working well and I was able to throw most of them for strikes and things were going my way.” — Travis Wood

“I saw him when he was 18 years old and we were both in the GCL together, roommates. He’s doing what he did. He’s learned how to pitch and use his stuff. He did great today. He came in here like it was any other outing in any other place and shut the Cubs down for seven innings.” — Jay Bruce on Wood.

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Postgame extra: 3-3 on West Coast

A 3-0 win over the A’s meant a 3-3 road trip. For Reds fans having chest pains over the first three games in Seattle, this might relax things a little bit. Remember, they came in 15-35 in West Coast games over the past five seasons. Winning the first two games of the series had to happen but taking the sweep is a nice added morale boost.

The Reds are still seven games over .500 at 40-33. Not a bad place to be considering how the six-game West Coast trip started.

“Big time, that’s like a reverse sweep,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We got swept and then we sweep. It’s not the way you plan it. But that’s the way it worked out. We’re actually going home the same we left – seven over [.500]. Hopefully, we can get back to double-digits pretty soon.”

The good —

*Johnny Cueto took a shutout into the eighth inning. Worked seven-plus innings and allowed seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

*The play of the game was a non-routine 4-2-5 double play that came with the bases loaded and no outs in the fourth. Gabe Gross hit a soft liner to second base, where Brandon Phillips alertly let the ball short-hop and threw home to Ramon Hernandez for the force. Hernandez threw to Miguel Cairo at third base and got the double play. Had Cairo not tagged the runner and just touched the bag, he likely could have turned the triple play.

“That was a really smart play by Brandon, the play of the game,” Hernandez said. “Bases loaded, no outs and then you get two outs with no runs. That’s big.”

*Nick Masset and Cairo came up big for Cueto in the eighth after he allowed two hits before being lifted. Kurt Suzuki was robbed when his hot grounder to third base was stopped by a diving Cairo, who touched the bag and threw to first for a double play. Masset struck out Kevin Kouzmanoff to end the threat.

*In his last three outings, Masset has 3 2/3 innings of perfect pitching. Need a bigger sample size but it’s starting to look like he’s finding his mojo again.

*The Reds rotation posted a 2.33 ERA over the six-game trip.

*Jay Bruce was 3-for-3 with a walk and 7-for-10 in the series. He came in a 4-for-25 skid before the series. Down in a 0-2 count in the first, Bruce had a big two-run single to put the Reds up early. Bruce was batting .194 RISP w/two outs coming in.

The not-so-good —

*Reds were 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10. They were 3-for-23 RISP in the last two games and left 21 on base.

*Orlando Cabrera went 0-for-5 today and is batting .133 (8-for-60) over his last 15 games.

Quotes —

“I was looking at our starters the last two games the way they were pitching to those guys. I was paying attention to the way I was pitching to throw in the same pattern.” — Johnny Cueto

“We’re going to have a nice day off [on Thursday] and go back home and regroup and get ready for the weekend series. We’re trying to play good baseball and have fun, and keep doing what we’re doing.” — Ramon Hernandez

“We played good baseball. They didn’t get the breaks they needed. We capitalized on things when we needed to. That’s kind of how the series went.” — Jay Bruce

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Postgame extra: Homer happier

I am writing this entry from a BART train headed back to San Francisco. If I didn’t leave when I did, I might have had to spend the night in the ballpark…no thanks.

That was one wild (late) night of baseball — a 6-4 Reds win in 10 innings.

The good —

*The bats finally came alive, albeit late. The three homers in the 10th by Ramon Hernandez, Joey Votto and Scott Rolen were the first long balls in a 39-inning span since Thursday. The Reds had also scored only three runs in the 39 innings entering the 10th.

*Jay Bruce had a PH single after sat most of the game. Bruce was in a 4-for-25 skid.

*Nick Masset had shutdown stuff tonight and pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

*Jordan Smith picked up his first save in the Majors when he got the final two outs of the Oakland 10th.

*The Reds tied a franchise record with their eighth-straigtht extra-innings win on the road, dating back to last season.

*Dusty Baker won his 1,352nd career game, which ties him with Chuck Tanner for 26th all-time.

The not-so-good —

*The three homers and Smith’s save wouldn’t have been needed if closer Francisco Cordero did the job in the bottom of the ninth. Cordero’s first-pitch homer to leadoff batter Kevin Kouzmanoff gave him five blown saves in 22 chances. He had four blown saves in 43 chances last season.

*The game nearly got away again in the 10th after Cordero walked his first two batters.

Some quotes —

“It seems like when your bats are sick, everybody’s bats are sick. When your bats get well, it seems like everybody’s bats get well at the same time.” — manager Dusty Baker

“We lead the league in all of those offensive categories for a reason. We know we can hit. We’ve had some bad luck and bad draws with the opposing pitching. But we have to beat good pitchers to be the team we want to be. We hit a lull the last couple of days but we’re fine.” — Jay Bruce.

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Postgame extra: another comeback

Mike Leake finally had a bad one but it was still all good in the end for the Reds, which took a 7-6 win over the Giants to earn a four-game series split. The Reds opened a 1 1/2 game lead on the Cardinals, which are idle Thursday.

The good —

*It was the Reds NL-leading 13th one-run victory and their 12th in the final at-bat. Also, the 21st come-from-behind win.

*Temporary leadoff hitter Brandon Phillips was 4-for-5. His two-run triple in the eighth tied the game at 6-6 and Phillps scored the winning run on Joey Votto’s roller up the middle through a drawn-in infield.

*Arthur Rhodes, again. His 1.2 IP were his highest since May 1, 2008. He earned the victory and extended his scoreless streak to 25 innings and 27 appearances.

*Defense. Paul Janish got a rare start at shortstop and made a splendid diving stop of Juan Uribe’s hot grounder to start a 643 double play with the bases loaded to end the fourth. Janish saved at least two runs, maybe three. Brandon Phillips started a 463 double play to end the fifth with a very fine play.

“Those are what saved the game for us,” manager Dusty Baker said. “You know how I am about defense. You play defense, especially up the middle defense, you save a lot of runs.”

*Francisco Cordero pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 17th save. It was the only perfect inning a Reds pitcher had all day.

The not so good —

*In his worst start for the Reds, the rookie right-hander pitched a season-low 4 1/3 innings and allowed a season-high 11 hits while tying a season high with five earned runs. He also allowed two home runs. Three-straight inning-ending double plays with the bases loaded — including the two mentioned above, helped save his bacon.

*Scott Rolen made an uncharacteristic E5 on a ball between his legs in the fifth with Del Rosario on the mound that scored what was the Giants go-ahead run charged to Leake.

*Nick Masset entered in the sixth and got two quick outs to end the inning. But he labored in the seventh, allowing a run and two hits.

*The game was a slog that felt longer than three hours, 28 minutes. The Giants left 13 on base while the Reds stranded nine.

*There was a weird scene in the eighth after Joey Votto singled. While on first base, Votto appeared to think that pitcher Guillermo Mota was saying something to him and the two exchanged words. Baker said that Mota was actually talking to his first baseman, Buster Posey.

“It’s the heat of the summer,” Baker said. “Tempers are usually shortest about this time.”

More quotes —

“I think what was different about this game is their coaching staff had a pretty good plan for me. They punched me right off the bat and I couldn’t react fast enough. Sometimes games are going to be like that. They didn’t square every ball up. I did make more mistakes than I wanted to.” — Mike Leake

“He wasn’t struggling. They were flaring him to death. They found every hole. They had a bunch of one-hand hits, bloopers. We had a couple too but they had more than we had, especially early. That’s why we kept running him out there. We didn’t want to go to our bullpen in the third or fourth. You could tell by the way things were going, you had a feeling it was going to be a high-offensive day.” — Dusty Baker on Leake.

“You can’t count these guys out here, man. We go out and play hard for nine innings. We play hard until the game is over.” — Arthur Rhodes.

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Postgame extra: questions?!

The good from the 3-0 Reds loss to the Giants on Tuesday —

Sam LeCure gave the Reds the kind of start they needed, but it wasn’t enough against Matt Cain’s seven-hit shutout. LeCure allowed one run over six innings on Juan Uribe’s long homer in the fourth.

Arthur Rhodes  — another two-thirds scoreless when he got the final out of the seventh and the first out of the eighth. That’s 26 scoreless appearances in a row for 23 1/3 innings.

The decision for Sunday’s start — Bailey or LeCure?

During his rehab start at Triple-A Louisville, Homer Bailey pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed five earned runs and six hits vs. Syracuse while throwing 86 pitches. The rotation spot’s turn comes up again Sunday.

LeCure is 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA in his three starts. In his 17 1/3 innings, he’s allowed 17 hits and 12 walks with 12 strikeouts. He’s also faced Chris Carpenter and Matt Cain in his two losses.

“It remains to be seen. We have to check that out,” manager Dusty Baker said. “It’s a little too early right now after this loss to come up with that kind of answer.”

The not so good —

*It was another lousy night for the non-Arthur Rhodes portion of the bullpen. Logan Ondrusek got two outs in the seventh before allowing a double and a walk. That forced Baker to turn to Rhodes again.

*After Rhodes, Nick Masset had two outs in the eighth and gave up two runs on three hits and a four-pitch walk. The eighth and ninth hitters — Bengie Molina and Matt Cain — drove in the insurance runs that turned a one-run game into a three-run game on ice.

“We just have to figure out which guys, other than Arthur, can do what they’re supposed to do,” Baker said. “If not, we’re going to kill Arthur.”

*In 31 games, Masset has a 7.20 ERA and has given up 20 earned runs in 25 innings. It equaled his earned runs allowed from all of last season when he pitched 76 innings over 54 games.

Questions of the night —

*Who’s your starter for Sunday — Bailey or LeCure?

*What’s the answer for the Reds bullpen? Could Bailey or LeCure move into a relief role or is there another fix? There really isn’t a lot of consistent work being done down in Louisville’s bullpen either.

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Postgame extra: Arroyo rolling

We have a new associate reporter on board starting this week, named Matt Brown. Matt handled the game story tonight on for the Reds 4-0 win over Pittsburgh. Please give it a look.

The good —

*Bronson Arroyo. 7 2/3 scoreless innings with five hits and two walks (one intentional) allowed and five strikeouts. After a leadoff walk to Aki Iwamura in the first, Arroyo retired 11 in a row and faced the minimum through the first four hitless innings. He did a real nice job turned a 1-6-3 double play in the first to erase that walk.

“It was a good game,” Arroyo said. “The first inning I was missing a lot, all my pitches. I felt really strong but my command was just all over the place. It happens sometimes you come out of the pen feeling funky but to get that double play the stab up the middle probably turned the entire game around for me. If I have 2 guys on and I’m having to face the meat of the order with nobody out, it would have been a different ball game. But I got out of that one and my command came back and I felt good throwing the fastball down and away to some of these guys and kind of got on a roll. When you have a lead its a lot easier to pitch.”

*Arroyo has won four-straight starts and five of his last six. In those six starts, he is 4-0 with a 2.66 ERA. Also big is that his last two wins have followed difficult one-run losses, including that heartbreaker in Atlanta on Thursday. He’s been a good guy to have when you need to keep a loss from festering.

*Daniel Ray Herrera faced one batter but it was a huge situation. Given bases loaded, two outs in the eighth and a 3-0 lead, lefty-hitter Garrett Jones represented the go-ahead run. Arthur Rhodes was not available. Herrera stepped up and fanned Jones with a 66 mph screwball.

“I gave him some good pitches away and a breaking ball he didn’t fish for,” Herrera said. “Luckily, he swung over that screwball.”

*Filling in at 1B for Joey Votto (stiff neck), Miguel Cairo was 2-for-4 and was hit by a pitch. Cairo hit a home run in the fifth inning. He’s only batting .216 but is 4-for-8 in last two starts.

*On Lastings Milledge high line drive in the seventh, Brandon Phillips made a spectacular leap and catch. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Phillips get that vertical.

“That was a two-handed slam right there,” Baker said.

*Chris Heisey’s homer in the bottom of the eighth was good insurance. It was Heisey’s second pinch-hit homer of the season and third overall.

The not so good —

*More trouble for Nick Masset. After Arroyo came out with a runner on first and two outs in the seventh, Masset faced two batters. He allowed Neil Walker’s single, a wild pitch and Andrew McCutchen’s walk that loaded the bases. Herrera cleaned up the situation.

*In his last six appearances, totaling two innings, Masset has allowed four hits, four runs and three walks while going 0-2. There were some boos when he came out of the bullpen to replace Arroyo. He’s much better than he’s pitched during this up-and-down year. Baker is counting on that fact and there really is no better right-handed option in-house that can do Masset’s role. He has to get it together.

*The Reds left 11 men on base for the night, including four in the first two innings. 

More quotes

“You’re sailing along smoothly, and all of a sudden, one hit and you say ‘no problem.’ Then one walk and you’re in trouble. Daniel came on in that situation. There’s only one lefty out there. I know Walker doesn’t hit lefties as good as righties but if he doesn’t get Walker, now you have to face McCutchen whose hitting .430 against left-handed pitching. After that, they’re all left-handed until you get down to Milledge. They had us in a crossfire right there. I thought that 2-2 pitch [to McCutchen] was pretty close. That would have really boosted Masset’s confidence. Right now he’s struggling some. We have to help him figure out how to get back to Masset.” — Dusty Baker on the eighth inning situation with Masset and Herrera.

“No, but it’s part of the job. Bronson threw a hell of a game. Masset, I wanted to pick him up too. It’s part of the game to leave them there. Don’t let those runs come in for my guys.” — Daniel Ray Herrera when asked about the uneviable situation of entering a game with the bases loaded.

“I try to be honest with him. The first batter of that inning Cedeno and then the last batter, they just wore me out. I was already running low on a fuel a little bit being so hot out there, so humid. I felt like somebody in the pen had a better opportunity to get a lefty out then I did so I gave him the signal and I feel like I should do that just for the fact that I want him to trust me when I say that Ive got enough left in the tank to go ahead and finish somebody off late in the game.” — Bronson Arroyo on signaling to Baker that he was done following Iwamura’s fly out in the eighth.

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Postgame extra: Twilight bites Reds

A 2-1 loss to the Pirates was decided in the ninth inning on Ryan Doumit’s home run off of Nick Masset but the most regrettable moment for the Reds came in the eighth inning.

Center fielder Drew Stubbs lost Aki Iwamura’s routine fly ball in the twight and it dropped several feet behind Stubbs as Iwmura got a triple. He scored on Neil Walker’s double. That was the lone run to score on Mike Leake.

“It’s one of those situations where if you lose the ball, you lose the ball,” Dusty Baker said. “There’s nothing you can do. That happened to me right here in Cincinnati as well early in my career. Pete Rose hit the ball to me and I did the same thing. That was tough.”

“This time of year theres probably a 10-15 minute window where its just before it gets dark and any ball that gets up there is very tough to see,” Stubbs said. “I guess different points of view from the field allow you different perceptions of it. But just definitely a bad break for us, some bad luck for Mike Leake. Obviously a very catchable ball but just one that none of us saw.”

The good —

*Leake allowed a career high 10 hits, but only one run with one walk and three strikeouts over a career-high 7 1/3 innings. He dodged trouble and helped himself early by inducing two double plays, one of which he started himself in the third inning. He threw only 97 pitches in the game.

*Both starters were tremendous — Leake and Paul Maholm. No runner reached third base until the sixth inning when Andrew McCutchen went from first to third on a two-out single.

*After the twilight issue cost Leake a run, Brandon Phillips got it back with a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth. It was also the 100th homer of Phillips’ career.

*Another solid outing for Arthur Rhodes, who has 19 scoreless games and counting.

The not so good —

*Masset left a 2-1 pitch over the plate that Doumit had no choice but to crush.

Quotes —

“I didn’t execute a pitch, and that was a good hitter up at the plate and weve seen each other quite a bit in the past. I got behind in the count and left one, I don’t know exactly where the pitch was, but it sure was up enough to where he could drive it. ” — Nick Masset.

“We both kind of deserved wins but it didn’t turn out that way for both of us.” — Mike Leake

“He’s started off great the first month and half or so. He’s the type of guy who’s going to compete and he’s going to get ground balls. He gets off to a great start, and you know you have to keep some zeros up there and let the offense keep battling away.” — Paul Maholm on Leake.


Aroldis Chapman tested the blister on the middle finger of his left hand and threw on the side Tuesday. It went fine and Chapman is scheduled to make his next start Thursday for Triple-A Louisville against Gwinnett.

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No TV tonight

The Reds-Indians aren’t on TV tonight since the game is happening while FOX is doing primetime game of the week with Yankees-Mets. You can follow online at Gameday but if you’re a subscriber — you can watch the scoreboard feed online at or listen to Marty and Jeff on radio or online.

Here is the link to the media center for more info:

Saturday’s lineup vs. CLE

Cabrera 6
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Gomes DH
Nix 7
Hernandez 2
Stubbs 8

Cueto 1

Dusty Baker has no plans to use Arthur Rhodes from the bullpen tonight. Rhodes pitched one inning in Friday’s win.

“Last night he was running on fumes,” Baker said.

Rhodes has been the best and most consistent from the bullpen this season. He has a 0.52 ERA in 19 games and has not allowed a run in any of his last 17-straight appearances.

“Arthur as much as anybody, we have to really pay attention and spot him. If he goes one or two innings today, he’s not any good for the next day and maybe even the next day. You have a temptation to run him out there every day because he’s been so good. But the reason he’s been so good, No. 1 he is good and No. 2, we try to keep him as strong and as fresh as we can. Let’s not forget, we have 120 games to go and he’s 40 years old.”

The plan is to also try and stay away from Nick Masset, too. Masset has pitched the last three games.

“Hopefully Johnny can go deep, deep, deep in the game and the other guys can pick us up,” Baker said.

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Battle for first place

Even if it’s only May — no reason to turn a nose at going for first place.

Sunday lineup vs. STL

Cabrera 6
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Gomes 7
Stubbs 8
Hanigan 2
Arroyo 1


Normally Dusty Baker would rest some regulars, namely Scott Rolen, for a day game after a night game. With the Cardinals in town, there was no chance that was happening.

“This is different times,” Baker said.

There are three lefties in the Cardinals lineup. Lefties are batting .301 vs. Arroyo this season, compared to .198 for right-handers.

*With his perfect seventh last night, Arthur Rhodes has 14-straight scoreless appearances and a 0.60 ERA through 16 games. Nick Masset’s perfect eighth with two K’s gave him six-straight scoreless outings — not bad considering the rough patch he had last month. Masset was chucking at 96 mph against both Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday.

“When we keep them rested and strong, you see how sharp they are and how good their velocity is,” Baker said. “That’s the secret. Just keep them fresh. It’s not that easy to do sometimes because games dictate everything. They’re throwing the ball pretty good.”

Keeping them fresh will be a tougher order with the Reds in only their third game Sunday of a 20-game stretch without an off day.

“These extended streaks like this – I think this is the longest this year – really tax your bullpen if you have a couple of short starts,” Baker said. You tend to go long with your starters during these periods here because you’ll wear your bullpen, especially at the start of the streak. You can put yourself in a position to lose games.”

Also — when asked if Laynce Nix was available today, Baker’s response was “can’t tell you.” Nix appears to have something related to back spasms.

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Postgame extra, Leake

It got a little hairy at the end but the Reds have a series win with a 6-4 victory over the Astros.

What was good: Mike Leake, of course. He’s 2-0 with a 3.25 ERA in four starts. He has three-straight outings of seven innings and three quality starts. He pitched seven innings, gave up one earned run and five hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Through the first four innings, the rookie allowed one single and faced the minimum batters. He left with a 6-1 lead.

Hard to believe Leake was pitching for Arizona State this time last year?

“I don’t think about that,” manager Dusty Baker said. “I think about him trying to get better here. He’s a quick learner, very confident but not cocky with his confidence.”

What happened in the ninth? Coming off Tuesday’s flawless appearance for Nick Masset, Baker wanted to keep him rolling and called on him to finish the game. But Masset walked first batter Carlos Lee and then gave up Reds killer Lance Berkman’s two run homer. Masset has a 12.54 ERA in 11 games. 

“That ball was supposed to be on the outside,” Baker said of Masset’s 2-1 pitch to Berkman. “It had good velocity except it was on the heart of the plate. I’m just glad we had the runs we had. We’ll try not to make it so tight tomorrow.”

Francisco Cordero had to finish but also had trouble. A leadoff single off Joey Votto’s glove, a walk and a lined RBI single made it a two-run game.

Check the rulebook: Many assumed, including myself, that Cordero was awarded the save since the lead was three runs. Not true. Rule 10.19 says that with the three-run lead Cordero needed to work at least one inning. He only pitched two-thirds of an inning.

Game changer: In the four-run fourth with the bases loaded, Brandon Phillips hit what seemed to be a routine fly to right-center field. Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence both lost it in the twilight and the ball skipped out of Pence’s glove. It was ruled E9 although Baker thought it should have been a hit.

“That’s a play that has to be made,” Pence said. “Here when the twilight hours are going on, the balls disappear. You just have to keep going with it and try to find it and I lost it and found it late and wasn’t able to recover as good as I needed to. I’ve got to make that play.

Quotes: “I just had that one inning where I threw too many pitches and tried to do too much. The infield was great today and the outfield as well. Ramon caught a great game tonight and the offense did their job as well. A good all-around game.” — Mike Leake.

“I’m not going to take nothing away from him. He made some good pitches on me tonight and I give credit where credit it due. We’ll see him again, and we’ll be back and ready to face him again.” — Michael Bourn, who was 0-for-5, with four strikeouts. Three Ks came vs. Leake. 

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