Fantasy Football 2014:

Reds 4, Pirates 1

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- Reds right-hander Mike Leake allowed one run through seven innings, and Todd Frazier, Zack Cozart, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce each hit solo homers, lifting Cincinnati to a 4-1 victory Monday over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a four-game series between National League Central division rivals.

Cincinnati (43-28) improved to 25-12 at Great American Ball Park, tying the Pirates for the best home mark in baseball.

Pittsburgh (41-29) went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position Monday night.

Leake (7-3) pitched around early trouble.

Jordy Mercer led off the third inning with a double but was left stranded. Pittsburgh had runners on first and second with two outs in the fourth, but Leake got Neil Walker to fly out to right.

Starling Marte saved a run in the third when, with Votto on second with two outs, he made a sensational diving grab of Brandon Phillips' line drive for the final out.

Cozart snapped the scoreless tie in the fourth when he launched a 2-2 pitch from Pirates starter Francisco Liriano for a 437-foot home run to left, putting Cincinnati ahead 1-0. It was Cozart's seventh home run of the season.

The Pirates tied the score 1-1 in the sixth on catcher Russell Martin's RBI double. But after Liriano struck out the first two batters he faced in the sixth, Frazier hit a 443-foot homer to left, putting Cincinnati ahead 2-1.

Liriano (5-3) allowed five hits and the two solo homers through six innings. He fanned six and walked two.

Pittsburgh had the go-ahead run at second base with one out in the seventh, but Leake fanned pinch-hitter Travis Snider before getting Marte to fly to center.

Leake gave up six hits, walked one and struck out three.

The Pirates missed their final scoring opportunity in the eighth when left-hander Tony Cingrani, making his first relief appearance this season, fanned Pedro Alvarez to strand the tying run at second.

Andrew McCutchen and Martin each had two hits for Pittsburgh which left nine runners on base.

Cincinnati padded its lead in the eighth when Votto belted his 12th home run and Bruce added his 13th off Pirates right-hander Bryan Morris.

Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for his 18th save.

NOTES: Reds RHP Johnny Cueto, who was reinstated from the disabled list prior to Sunday's game and pitched six innings to earn his fourth victory, felt no ill effects Monday. However, manager Dusty Baker remained cautiously optimistic about his ace, who's been on the DL twice this season. "We'll see," said Baker. "We'll probably be able to tell more tomorrow." ... Marte returned to the starting lineup Monday after missing four starts with an oblique injury. He entered Sunday's game as a defensive replacement and went 0-for-2. ... Pirates RF Alex Presley batted second for the first time this season. ... Cincinnati is 11 games into a stretch of 17 straight without an off day. Monday's game also began a 16-game stretch against teams with winning records. The Reds began the night 28-7 against teams with losing records and 14-21 against clubs .500 or better. ... Monday's game is the first of 10 this season between the Reds and Pirates at Great American Ball Park. They also play there July 19-21 and Sept. 27-29.

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League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Aug 27 9:00 am
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