Reds' Leake leaves Braves thirsting for runs
ATLANTA -- Mike Leake surrendered two hits over eight scoreless innings and accounted for one of the consecutive home runs Shelby Miller allowed as the Reds claimed a 5-1 win over the Braves on Thursday night at Turner Field.
After teaming with Tucker Barnhart to begin the seventh inning with back-to-back home runs, Miller completed his 97-pitch outing in impressive fashion. The right-hander retired 19 of the last 20 batters he faced and did not pitch from the stretch after Chris Johnson drew a two-out walk in the fourth. Nick Markakis' infield single to begin the bottom of the first accounted for one of the four hits recorded by the Braves, who have lost 11 of their past 15 games.
"[Leake] threw strikes and he threw his breaking ball over, but I thought we weren't as patient as we had been before," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I think we swung at some pitches out of the strike zone and made contact. Then, he beat us with the bat."
Miller shared a shutout bid with Leake through the first five innings and then was undone by a Christian Bethancourt passed ball on a third strike that led to an unearned run during a 29-pitch sixth inning.
The Braves' bullpen woes were extended when Todd Frazier began the eighth inning with a homer and Billy Hamilton added a solo shot in the ninth.
Freddie Freeman dropped an RBI double into left off of Reds reliever Tony Cingrani in the ninth to account for the Braves' run.
"[Leake] was terrific," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He was locked in. He has a really good rapport with Tucker. He worked really quickly and attacked the zone. It's a nice lineup. They mix and match so well with players who have had success against Michael, and he pitched a dandy."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Leake does it all: Besides hitting his fifth career home run, including his second against the Braves, Leake shut down Atlanta. After giving up singles in the first and second innings, Leake allowed nothing else the next six innings for his first victory of the season. More >
Miller's misfortune: Miller might have been fatigued by the 29-pitch sixth inning, which began with Bethancourt allowing Hamilton to reach safely on a dropped third strike The right-hander had allowed just three homers over his past 58 1/3 innings before allowing Barnhart and Leake to deliver their back-to-back shots. More >
Bringing the power: The Reds hit four home runs, their most this season since hitting five against the Brewers on April 21. Cincinnati had scored three runs or fewer in five of its last seven games. More >
CJ to the DL: Atlanta's Johnson sustained a fractured left hand while attempting to steal second base with two outs in the fourth inning. Johnson, who exited after playing defense in the fifth, will go on the disabled list. The vacated roster spot will be filled by Mike Foltynewicz, who will make his first Major League start on Friday. More >
"We were joking in the clubhouse. If [Hamilton] would've hit one, it would have been the most unexpected back-to-back-to-back [home runs] in Major League history." -- Barnhart, on the back-to-back homers
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Leake has gone 7-for-20 with two homers in his career against the Braves. He was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts against Miller before going deep Thursday night.
Reds: Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani, who leads National League rookies in strikeouts, will start Friday night at 7:35 p.m. ET against the Braves. Opponents are hitting .154 against DeSclafani, who came to the Reds in December from the Marlins in the Mat Latos trade.
Braves: Foltynewicz, a highly-regarded prospect who joined the Braves in January from Houston in the Evan Gattis trade, will make his much-anticipated season debut on Friday. The 6-foot-4 right-hander went 0-3 with a 2.08 ERA in four starts with Triple-A Gwinnett.
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