Reds manager Dusty Baker was saying before the game that the Pirates used their bigger ballpark to their advantage in the series at PNC Park earlier this year, i.e., the Reds' home run power was negated. Playing in the friendly confines of Great American Ball Park, the Reds put on a home run clinic. To be fair, however, three of the four home runs the Reds hit in a 4-1 victory over the Pirates before a crowd of 28,892 at GABP would have gotten out of any park but Yellowstone. All the Reds' offense came via the home run -- long blasts from Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce and a wall-scraper from Joey Votto. "We welcome being back home," Baker said. "Our home-field advantage is we can reach the fences. They can too. But this is our home park." Mike Leake (7-3) continued his roll. He went seven innings and allowed one run on six hits. He walked one and struck out three. Over his last seven starts, Leake is 5-1 with a 1.15 ERA. "He's improved," Baker said. "He's improved over two years ago when he was one of our best pitchers. He's still learning. I was talking to Jim Maloney the other day. He said how he noticed Mike Leake has gotten stronger. He's got man muscles, very little boy muscles." Leake says that's led to one big change. "It helps in the ability to keep the ball down," he said. "The strength helps to keep the fingers on top of the ball and work down in the zone." The Reds like playing behind him. "He's a warrior," Frazier said. "When he's on the mound, he's got a presence about him. He understands: This is my spot. Nobody's taking it. That's the attitude you have. He works quick. That helps us out." This was a 0-0 game through three innings.
Reds homer four times in 4-1 win against Pirates
Cincinnati Enquirer | Jun 18