In search of his first win in nearly a month, Leake will try to beat the Cubs for the second time this season and help the first-place Reds to their fourth consecutive series victory.
With his home start against Chicago on April 11, Leake became the first Reds player and 21st overall since the draft began in 1965 to play his first professional game in the majors. He didn’t get a decision in that 3-1 win but allowed only one run and four hits in 6 2-3 innings.
Leake went 5-0 with a 2.22 ERA in his first 11 outings, but he’s 0-1 with a 6.85 ERA in four starts since beating Washington on June 5.
The Reds (46-36) gave their the 22-year-old right-hander - who has thrown 95 1-3 innings - seven days of rest before Tuesday night’s game against Philadelphia.
The break didn’t help as Leake (5-1, 3.30 ERA) gave up a career-worst six runs over six innings in a 9-6, 10-inning loss. He gave up two homers Tuesday and has allowed five in the past four starts after surrendering four through his first 11 outings.
“You like to come out quick after every outing and pitch after four days. It just gave me a couple of extra days’ rest and thinking,” Leake told the team’s website. “Sometimes, thinking can be a bad thing.”
Leake will try to bounce back with a third straight quality outing against Chicago. He beat the Cubs on May 9 by giving up three runs and four hits over seven innings in a 5-3 victory.
This time, Leake will face a team that’s scored 23 runs its last 12 games while batting .212, including .169 with runners in scoring position. He’ll also look to improve upon his 2-0 record and 1.64 ERA in five road starts.
Chicago (35-46) matched a team record and finished one shy of the NL mark by stranding 17 runners Saturday but won 3-1.
“Every time you get guys in scoring position you try your best to get them in and get the RBIs and get the team to get going,” said catcher Geovany Soto(notes), who had a two-run double. “And every time you don’t do it, it’s like, here we go again.”
Ted Lilly(notes) (3-6, 3.12) will try to deliver the Cubs’ sixth win in 16 games. The left-hander has given up one run in consecutive starts but earned a win in just one of those outings, Tuesday’s 3-1 victory over Pittsburgh.
Lilly, who has received a major league-worst 2.18 runs per start, has allowed one run or fewer in each of his wins this season. He’s also been given a combined four runs in his last four starts against the Reds and is 1-3 over that span despite a 2.86 ERA.
Lilly earned that lone win in his previous matchup Sept. 13 and snapped a six-game slide to Cincinnati by throwing six scoreless innings during a 5-2 victory.
While Lilly tries to win consecutive starts for the first time this season, Joey Votto(notes) will attempt to reach base for the 42nd straight game and lead the Reds to their 10th win in 13 contests. Votto is 6 for 18 with two homers against Lilly.