Leake sets tone in Reds' shutout of Marlins
CINCINNATI -- Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake flirted with a no-hitter Friday night, delivering seven stellar innings in a series-opening victory over the Marlins, 5-0, at Great American Ball Park.
Leake (4-4, 4.01 ERA) retired the first 13 batters he faced and carried a no-hitter for 5 2/3 innings before Christian Yelich singled to left field. Leake finished with two hits, three walks and one hit batter in seven innings.
"Just aggressive attacking," Leake said. "Trying to keep the ball in the bottom of the zone, and I'm sure jet lag played a little part for them, but I felt like I was throwing the ball pretty good."
Relief pitchers J.J. Hoover and Pedro Villarreal combined on the final two innings for the Reds, giving up only two hits.
Dan Haren (6-4, 3.19 ERA) was equally impressive for the Marlins, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings. Marlon Byrd homered off Haren in the fourth inning. Haren's second run came after he was pulled in the seventh, when pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker singled to left field off reliever Steve Cishek, who entered although Miami had lefty Brad Hand warming up.
"Cishek had decent numbers against Schumaker, that's the reason we went with that matchup," Miami manager Dan Jennings said. "We could have very easily left Dan in there to face Schumaker as well. It was just a decision I made at that time. It turned out to be the wrong decision. Schumaker gets the knock, and the second run scores."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Marlon homers against Marlins: Byrd returned from the disabled list and made an instant impact by sending an 87-mph fastball from Haren into the right-center-field seats in the fourth inning. Byrd's 11th home run of the season traveled an estimated 401 feet and gave the Reds a 1-0 lead. He finished the game 1-for-4. More >
"He was able to stay on a ball out over the plate," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "[Haren] was kind of back and forth with the sinker-cutter mix, and [Byrd] was able to stay on one that got up out over the plate and he was able to handle it out to right-center."
Squandered chances: The Marlins didn't have many chances, but they weren't able to capitalize on the few they had. A key moment came in the seventh inning, after Marcell Ozuna singled and moved to second on Justin Bour's groundout to third. With one out in a one-run game, J.T. Realmuto tapped to the mound, and Ozuna got caught between second and third and was tagged out, missing on a scoring chance.
Reds get late insurance: The Reds held a one-run lead until the seventh inning, when Schumaker came through with a pinch-hit single up the middle to score Tucker Barnhart from second base. The following inning, Jay Bruce hit a two-RBI double down the right-field line and Eugenio Suarez hit an RBI double to left field to push the Reds ahead, 5-0.
"Barnhart getting things started, getting us into their bullpen," Price said. "There was some good things that happened, Schumaker with the big hit, then Jay Bruce with the two-run double and so on."
Yelich breaks up no-no bid ... again: For the second time in three games, Yelich broke up a no-hit bid in the later innings. With two outs in the sixth, Yelich slapped a single to left off Leake. Miami did have three walks and a hit batter before they collected the single. The Marlins were in a similar struggle for hits on Wednesday against the Yankees. Michael Pineda carried a no-hitter through six innings before Yelich homered to open the seventh at Yankee Stadium.
"You don't want to blame travel, but it seems like when we have these rough travel times, we're a little bit slow offensively. The guys got their work in. They go through the routine. We were sluggish." -- Jennings, on the Marlins arriving into Cincinnati at 4:30 a.m. ET
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Dee speeds to 100: Dee Gordon's single in the eighth inning was his 100th hit of the season. Gordon reached the century mark in his 65th game, making him the fastest Marlin to reach the milestone in a season. Gordon is just the sixth National League player since 1961 to reach 100 hits in 65 or fewer games. The others are Ralph Garr (62 games) in 1974, Matty Alou (63) in '69, Andres Galarraga (63) in '93, Tony Gwynn (63) in '97 and Larry Walker (65) in '97. More >
Forty stadiums for Ichiro: Scratch Great American Ball Park off Ichiro Suzuki's list. Heading into the series, it was the only big league park in which the 41-year-old hadn't seen game action. That changed in the eighth inning when Ichiro entered as a pinch-hitter and was robbed on an infield single by second baseman Brandon Phillips. Ichiro has now played in 40 ballparks.
Marlins: Tom Koehler (5-4, 3.76) goes in the sandwich game of the series on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET. The right-hander comes off an impressive win over the Yankees, giving up one run in seven innings at Marlins Park. He is 0-1 in three games against the Reds.
Reds: Anthony DeSclafani (5-4, 3.36) will take the mound against the Marlins, his former club, on Saturday at Great American Ball Park. The right-hander appeared in 13 games, including five starts, for the Marlins last season. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. ET.
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