Leake's HR leads Reds over Pirates 7-5 for split

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 15, 2014 at 10:38 pm •  Published: April 15, 2014
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CINCINNATI (AP) — Mike Leake still thinks of himself as a hitter. He's even holding a bat on one of his 2014 baseball cards.

So far, he's playing like his picture.

Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.

First, the NL Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night. Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin's single in the seventh inning, giving the Pirates an 8-7 win.

Leake (2-1) gave up three runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings for a split. The right-hander has won his last four starts against the Pirates. Jonathan Broxton pitched out of a two-on threat in the ninth, converting his first save chance.

Leake, who has the most hits by a major league pitcher since 2010, doubled and scored in the third. He hit his third career homer in the sixth off Cole (2-1), who had won his last six starts.

His first homer since 2012 showed why the card company decided on a photo of him holding a bat.

"And that comes after my worst year hitting," Leake said. "It was bad timing on their part."

Reds manager Bryan Price is impressed by how Leake approaches batting practice. He's not just another pitcher trying to get in a few swings.

"He loves the challenge," Price said. "Even when you come out early, he's not just hitting. He's running the bases and working on little things.

"When we give him the green light early in the at-bat, he works on getting a good pitch to hit."

Leake got a good one from Cole, who left it up and over the plate. It wasn't the first time that Cole had seen him latch onto a mistake. Cole went to UCLA and faced Leake when he played for Arizona State.

"That guy's a good hitter as a pitcher," Cole said. "I saw that at Arizona State. He wore us out at the plate. That's not the first time he's done stuff like that."

Todd Frazier hit his second homer in two games, Joey Votto had four hits and Devin Mesoraco had three hits, including a bases-loaded single.

Neil Walker hit three of Pittsburgh's seven homers in the two games.