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Leake flirts with danger but stays out of trouble. Reds win, 5-1.

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Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Player of the Game

Mike Leake.  He didn't blow away the opposing lineup, but he never does.  Leake threw six innings of one-run ball, walking three and allowing seven hits against just two strikeouts.  He also benefited from a couple of close calls at second - once when Chipper Jones got doubled off on a lineout to Scott Rolen and once when Martin Prado tried to stretch out a single against Fred Lewis.  But with everything this staff has gone through, not to mention Leake himself, this was a most welcome outing.  Honorable mentions go to Scott Rolen (two hits, started 2 DPs) and Ramon Hernandez (2R HR in the 8th).  Props to the bullpen for closing the door.

Key Plays

  • Tommy Hanson cruised through the first, but allowed an infield hit to Scott Rolen in the second and later a double to Freddie Lewis which scored Rolen.  Reds lead, 1-0.
  • The Reds used some luck and small-ball to coax another run in the fourth.  After a Lewis walk, Ramon Hernandez grounded back to the mound for what should've been an easy DP.  But Hanson threw wild to second, and Lewis motored to third.  Paul Janish then bunted fairly hard back to the mound.  Hanson may have been able to get Lewis out at the plate, but perhaps spooked by his earlier error he took the sure out at first.  Reds up, 2-0.
  • The Reds got drove another run in the fifth on a ball that didn't leave the infield.  With Brandon Phillips on third, Jay Bruce hit a ground ball that deflected off new reliever George Sherrill and gave the Braves with no play at the plate or at first.  Reds up advantage to 3-0.
  • The Braves finally put up a run in the sixth.  After a Brian McCann double and an Eric Hinske single put runners on second and third, the slumping Dan Uggla hit a ball to deep center.  Braves score one but it was very nearly much worse.  Reds 3, Braves 1. 
  • With a weary bullpen, the Reds wisely took out some insurance in the eighth inning.  Jay Bruce walked, and Ramon Hernandez later homered to right on a ball that seemed to carry particularly well.  Good guys up 5-1.
  • The Braves threatened in the eighth, but Nick Masset coaxed an easy ground ball from Alex Gonzalez to leave the bases loaded.  Francisco Cordero pitched a scoreless ninth to seal the win.

Other Notes

  • A day and a week after the infamous Reds' meltdown in Atlanta, Tommy Hanson and Mike Leake squared off again.  Leake again threw six innings of one-run ball, but today was thankfully a much less dramatic affair.  .
  • Jay Bruce had one RBI.  It was the first game he has not had at least two RBIs since Sunday.