Reds hold onto big lead for 11-1 win over Jays

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 21, 2014 at 7:41 pm •  Published: June 21, 2014

CINCINNATI (AP) — Mike Leake wasn't about to let this 8-0 lead get away.

Jay Bruce's homer helped the Reds get ahead by eight runs for the second day in a row, and Leake made this big lead stand up, pitching eight innings on Saturday for an 11-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

A day earlier, the Blue Jays pulled off the second-biggest comeback in their history. Down 8-0 after the second inning, they rallied to a 14-9 victory behind a pair of homers from Edwin Encarnacion.

With their bullpen depleted, the Reds needed a solid effort from Leake (5-6), who went eight innings for the first time since May 13.

"I already knew that we needed something, but it's not like you can do it on command," Leake said. "My focus today was getting strike out within the first two pitches and going after them."

The Reds got ahead 8-0 after four innings on Saturday against J.A. Happ (6-4), and the Blue Jays didn't have another big comeback in them. Leake had a lot to do with it, allowing the Blue Jays only four hits, including Colby Rasmus' homer.

"That was a character game," manager Bryan Price said. "We needed to show up and get yesterday out of our minds. One thing this team has shown all year is that it doesn't get down on itself."

The Blue Jays are 9-5 all-time against the Reds, having won their four previous interleague series.

Cincinnati's offense has languished near the bottom of the majors for much of the season, with Bruce and Joey Votto spending time on the disabled list. Both are back, and the Reds are starting to hit. They've scored at least nine runs in four of their last six games.

Devin Mesoraco added a three-run homer in the seventh, his third homer in three games, as the Reds pulled away and quickly forgot about their Friday night meltdown.

"Dusty (Baker) always said, 'Momentum is only as good as the next day's starting pitcher,'" Mesoraco said. "Leake went out and gave us what we needed, and we were able to put some runs on the board."

Happ made it easy for the Reds in the first inning, walking three batters with two outs. Ryan Ludwick drove in two runs with a single, and another scored on Erik Kratz's passed ball.