They scored five first-inning runs on their way to a 7-2 win over the San Francisco Giants before a sellout crowd on Saturday.
Seven players each had a hit for the Reds on their way to a second consecutive win for just the second time since sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-game series in Cincinnati June 13-15. Cincinnati won the series opener 4-3 in 13 innings on Friday.
“It helped to score those first inning runs,” Dusty Baker said. “We haven’t been scoring a lot of runs lately.”
Leake, who leads the Reds in wins despite spending 13 days with Triple-A Louisville in May, earned his career-high ninth. The second-year right-hander, winner of eight games as a rookie in 2010, allowed eight hits and two runs—one earned—with no walks and seven strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings.
“I’m not going to stop there,” Leake said.
The righthander had quality starts in his last two outings but both resulted in losses as his slumping teammates scored just three runs total, including a shutout loss to Pittsburgh.
“As a pitcher you never complain about runs,” Leake said. “Our offense is coming around.”
The Giants loaded the bases with one out against Leake in the seventh, but left-hander Bill Bray(notes) came on to get Carlos Beltran(notes) to fly out harmlessly to left and Pablo Sandoval(notes) to ground out to third.
“Bray was outstanding against the middle of their order,” Baker said.
Beltran flied out in the ninth and now is 1 for 14 in three games with the Giants since being traded from the Mets on Thursday.
The Reds pounced on an uncharacteristically wild Madison Bumgarner(notes) for five hits and five runs while sending 11 batters to the plate in the first inning. Brandon Phillips(notes) drove in the first run with a single to left, and Jay Bruce(notes) and Chris Heisey(notes) followed with back-to-back two-run singles up the middle.
“At any point, I think our offense can take off,” Heisey said. “We didn’t have a lot of key hits lately but were able to sting them together tonight. As a hitter you hate to see a guy battling out there when you’re not scoring runs.
Bumgarner, who hadn’t walked more than one batter in any of his previous 10 starts and none in his three most recent appearances, didn’t help himself with two walks in the inning. The left-hander also hit Miguel Cairo(notes) while throwing 40 pitches, 23 for strikes.
The Giants got one run back on Sandoval’s 446-foot home run deep into the right-center field seats leading off the second, his 11th homer of the season and second in three games, but the Reds capitalized on two Giants errors to add to two unearned runs in the fourth.
The veteran went to talk to Leake after his second miscue.
“You know he doesn’t want to make them,” Leake said. “He came in just to pick me up. When I was younger, I would have gotten angry but at some point you learn to deal with it.”
Leake, who spent no time in the minor leagues until his stint in May worked out of the jam.
“That’s the sign of a good pitcher, when you can pitch yourself out of trouble,” Baker said. “He has a lot of weapons. He has the pitches to get a double play. He’s not a strikeout pitcher but can get them when he needs to.”
Bumgarner (6-10) lasted four innings, allowing seven hits and seven runs— five earned—with three walks and four strikeouts. He also was called for a balk.
The crowd of 40,402 was Cincinnati’s 12th sellout of the season, a record for Great American Ball Park. The previous record was set in 2003, the year the ballpark opened, and tied in 2004.
Notes: LHP Aroldis Chapman(notes) hasn’t allowed a hit in 8-23 innings over his last seven appearances, the longest single-season stretch by a Reds reliever since Chuck McElroy went 11 1-3 innings in from April 25 through May 17, 1994, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Chapman has retired 25 of the last 26 batters he’s faced, with one walk and 13 strikeouts. … Giants manager Bruce Bochy planned to give 1B Aubrey Huff(notes) Saturday and Sunday off after he played all 13 innings Friday following the team’s 2:30 a.m. arrival from Philadelphia. … Reds 2B Brandon Phillips extended his hitting streak to nine games (13 for 38, .342), the team’s longest current streak.