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Leake helps Reds even series with Pirates
Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Mike Leake pitched into the seventh inning and drove in two runs as the Cincinnati Reds took a 7-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Leake (2-1) gave up three runs on five hits, and went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double, home run and two runs scored for the Reds, who bounced back from a loss in the opener that was finished before the game.
Monday's series-opener was suspended in the top of the seventh due to rain, and finished on Tuesday with the Pirates taking an 8-7 victory.
Joey Votto went 4-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, while Todd Frazier clubbed a two-run home run and Devin Mesoraco drove in a pair in the win.
"We made some mistakes and we're still able to win," said Frazier. "After that tough loss from that three-inning game earlier, I think it showed a lot of character from this team."
Gerrit Cole (2-1) was touched for five runs on nine hits over six innings of work. Neil Walker hit a two-run home run and Pedro Alvarez scored twice for the Pirates, who have lost four of five.
"It's hard work, it's commitment, it's believing in him and giving him the work," said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle about Walker. "It's early and is a small sample so far, but his swing has improved."
Pittsburgh went on top in the second inning as Alvarez walked, stole second and later scored on a Gaby Sanchez single to left for a 1-0 lead.
The Reds pushed a run across in the third when Leake led off with a double, moved to third on a sac bunt from Chris Heisey and trotted home on Votto's single to center.
In the fourth, Andrew McCutchen led off with a single and Alvarez followed with a base hit. Russell Martin then hit a grounder back to the mound that Leake threw away, allowing McCutchen to score for a 2-1 lead.
Cincinnati, though, went on top in the sixth. Jay Bruce worked a walk to start the inning, and later scored on Frazier's fourth home run of the season. Mesoraco singled two batters later, and Leake helped his cause with a line drive over the left field wall for a 5-2 advantage.
Walker led off the seventh with a single, Sanchez then doubled and a sac fly from Jordy Mercer made it a 5-3 game. Leake then struck out Travis Ishikawa, but hit Starling Marte with a pitch, spelling the end of his night.
Manny Parra came on to face Jose Tabata, and got him to line out to end the inning.
The Reds padded their lead in the seventh on a two-run single from Mesoraco that made it a 7-3 game, and the runs proved fortunate.
McCutchen led off the eighth with a walk, but was forced out at second on an Alvarez fielder's choice. It was initially ruled that Alvarez was out at first on the play, but the Pirates challenged the call and it was overturned. Walker then crushed a pitch over the wall in left for a 7-5 game.
Jonathan Broxton got in some trouble in the ninth as he faced McCutchen with runners at the corners and two outs, but he got the reigning National League MVP to fly out and pick up his first save of the season.
The opener of this series featured a total of 10 home runs, a new record at Great American Ball Park ... Pittsburgh left seven on base as the team batted 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position ... St. Louis batted 5-for-11 with RISP and stranded nine ... Leake went 3-0 over four starts against the Pirates last season ... Cole had won six straight regular season starts going back to last season.
04/16 01:53:55 ET