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(Saturday, June 1st)
Final Score: Cincinnati 2, Pittsburgh 0
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Mike Leake tossed six innings to lead the Cincinnati Reds to their second shutout of the Pittsburgh Pirates in as many nights, a 2-0 decision at PNC Park.
Leake (5-2) scattered seven hits -- all singles -- and struck out five while walking just one. Three Cincinnati relievers kept the Pirates off the board over the final three frames, with Aroldis Chapman stranding a pair of runners in the ninth to notch his 14th save of the season.
"I'm not worried about giving up hits," Leake said. "I haven't my whole career and my whole life. It's part of my game. I have to make sure they don't multiply."
The performance comes one day after Johnny Cueto fired eight innings of one- hit ball in a 6-0 triumph in the opener of this three-game set.
Pittsburgh, which has totaled only one run over its last 30 innings, left 10 men on overall while going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Those offensive failures spoiled an outstanding start from Francisco Liriano (3-2), who fanned 11 Reds through six innings but was touched for a run on four hits.
Brandon Phillips had an RBI single in the fourth inning and finished 2-for-3 to pace Cincinnati, with Joey Votto also contributing a run-scoring hit.
Alex Presley collected three hits for Pittsburgh, which lost back-to-back games for the first time since May 8-9.
"Leake was tough tonight, switching speeds," Presley said.
Liriano was the more dominant of the two starters early on, retiring the first 10 Cincinnati hitters and striking out seven straight Reds after Shin-Soo Choo began the game by grounding out.
Zack Cozart ended the stretch with a one-out single in the fourth and took second on Votto's tapper in front of the plate. Phillips then beat out a grounder that was knocked down by Pirates first baseman Garrett Jones at first, with Cozart alertly hustling home from second on the play to give the Reds a 1-0 edge.
Leake was able to maintain the lead despite Pittsburgh having a baserunner in all but one of his innings on the mound. The Pirates failed to record an extra-base hit for the entire game, however, and the Cincinnati righty continually came up with big outs when he needed them.
Cincinnati managed little else offensively during Liriano's stint, but was able to scratch home an insurance run against the Pittsburgh bullpen in the eighth. Choo greeted Tony Watson with a single, advanced a base on a Cozart sacrifice and crossed the plate on Votto's base hit up the middle.
Pittsburgh put forth its best threat in its half of the frame, with Presley and Neil Walker delivering back-to-back singles against Jonathan Broxton to place two on with no out. Broxton got the dangerous Andrew McCutchen to pop up, however, before setting down both Jones and Russell Martin.
Starling Marte led off the bottom of the ninth with a pinch-hit single and Jordy Mercer drew a two-out walk to put the tying run on, but Chapman reared back and struck out Presley to close out the victory.
Phillips was removed for the bottom of the eighth inning after being hit in the arm with a pitch in the top of the frame. He is batting .500 (16-for-32) with four homers and 10 RBI in his last eight games against Pittsburgh ... Reds pitchers have posted 14 quality starts in the club's last 19 games while going 11-2 over that stretch ... Liriano's seven straight strikeouts tied a Pirates' record originally set by Erik Bedard at St. Louis on May 3, 2012 ... Third baseman Pedro Alvarez returned to Pittsburgh's lineup following a two- game absence caused by having his wisdom teeth extracted ... As part of the Pirates' African American Heritage Celebration Weekend, the teams wore replica uniforms of the Homestead Grays and Cincinnati Tigers of the Negro Leagues.
06/02 00:18:34 ET