Mike Leake, at least nominally, is the Reds' fifth starter. When your fifth starter is rolling, it's a good sign for the club overall. And Leake is rolling. Leake went seven shutout innings to push his scoreless streak to 13 2/3 innings as the Reds beat the New York Mets, 4-0, before a crowd of 23,181 at Citi Field. Leake allowed three hits, walked two and struck out four. He's 4-2 with a 2.30 ERA in his last seven starts. "He threw a great ballgame," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He had his cutter working, his change-up going, which he's been working on, his breaking ball. He had all going. "He's throwing as well as anyone we have." Leake's stellar start just continued the trend for the Reds. Their starters are 6-0 with a 1.44 ERA over last nine games. "Everything starts with those five guys," said catcher Devin Mesoraco, who homered and drove in two of the Reds' four runs. "We have full confidence in them, especially with what they've done in the past. They go out there and give us a chance to win the ballgame. Kind of like tonight, we got a couple in the first inning. That was all we needed." The Reds are streaking on several fronts: • They have won nine of 11 and 10 of 13. They are 10 games over .500 (28-18) for the first time this year. • They are 6-2 on this road trip and 11-11 overall on the road. They started the year 1-8 on the road. • They continue to beat up on the below .500 teams. They are 22-5 against teams with losing records. New York left-hander Jonathon Niese needed only seven pitches to get the first two outs of the game. The third one proved a lot more elusive. Joey Votto walked. Brandon Phillips singled to extend his season-high hitting streak to nine games. And Jay Bruce walked to load the bases. Todd Frazier grounded one right at third baseman David Wright. It went through his legs for an error. Votto and Phillips scored to make it 2-0. Donald Lutz beat out an infield single to reload the bases. Mesoraco worked a walk to force in Bruce to make it 3-0. "It always helps," Leake said of the early lead. "It helps you relax a little bit. It allows you to attack hitters, instead of being timid with pitches and trying to keep the game 0-0."
Reds blank Mets, 4-0, in New York
Cincinnati Enquirer | May 22