SAN DIEGO (AP) — Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mike Leake had mixed emotions after pitching in front of family and friends for the first time in his career.
"That's all you can really ask for is to go into the last inning with an opportunity to win," said Leake, who pitched seven scoreless innings and was one inning away from winning his 11th game of the season and fourth straight decision in front of his hometown fans.
Padres pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia spoiled the homecoming when he hit a two-run home run off reliever Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Padres a 2-1 victory and hand the Reds their fourth straight defeat.
Leake went seven scoreless innings, allowing four singles and retiring 12 of the final 13 batters he faced.
"It's awesome," he said of pitching before family and friends. "I grew up here. I waited four years for it, it's pretty cool to finally get the opportunity to do that."
Leake was matched up against another San Diego native, Sean O'Sullivan. The two played together during their youth baseball careers.
O'Sullivan, making his third start of the season for the Padres, went six innings and allowed one run on five hits. He walked five and struck out one.
"That was kind of nice to have two things happen at once," Leake said. "I'm glad neither one of us got a loss. But wish I had gotten a win, but I'm glad we both pitched good."
Chapman wasn't as happy with his outing.
"It was a fastball like I throw everybody," the Reds closer said of the pitch to Denorfia. "I just threw a fastball and he hit a home run and there's nothing I can do."
With the Reds leading 1-0, Chapman (3-4) walked leadoff batter Yonder Alonso. Denorfia then drove a 98 mph first-pitch offering from Chapman over the center-field fence 423 feet away to deal the Reds their fourth straight loss.
"He's not going to do anything tricky," Denorfia said. "He's going to throw it 100 mph. You have to be ready for the fastball. You have to sit on the fast ball.
"It was pretty sweet. It was one of those when you hit it hard on that part of the bat, you don't even feel the vibration, it felt great," Denorfia said of the first game-ending home run of his career and third walk-off hit of his career.
Chapman was disappointed that he walked Alonso.
"It bothered me because he was left-handed," Chapman said. "I walked him and after that I had to just continue going."
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