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Cincinnati at New York

Scoreboard
Cincinnati (28-18) «300000001470
N.Y. Mets (17-26)000000000031

Leake, Reds shut out Mets

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Any time a starting pitcher steps into the batter's box before he stands on the mound, he's in pretty good shape. Mike Leake enjoyed that luxury Tuesday night.

Leake pitched three-hit ball for seven sharp innings and the Cincinnati Reds parlayed star third baseman David Wright's early error into a 4-0 victory over the New York Mets.

Leake, one of the majors' best-hitting pitchers, struck out to end the top of the first inning. The Reds already led 3-0 by then, scoring all those runs after Wright let a bases-loaded, two-out grounder skip through his legs.

"It always helps a little bit," Leake said. "It helps you relax a little bit. It lets you attack hitters, instead of being timid."

Devin Mesoraco homered as the Reds won for the ninth time in 11 games. And for the second straight day, they opened a 3-0 lead over the Mets in the opening inning.

Leake (4-2) struck out four, walked two and became the latest pitcher to shut down the Mets at Citi Field. New York has lost 10 of 12 at home, rarely scoring many runs.

Leake escaped his biggest jam by retiring slumping Ike Davis on a grounder with runners on second and third to end the fourth.

"Everything was seeming to work," Leake said.

The 25-year-old righty has never pitched a shutout in the majors, and was pulled for reliever Sam LeCure to begin the eighth.

LeCure and Logan Ondrusek each threw a hitless inning to finish up.

Jonathon Niese (3-5) wasn't charged with an earned run, but he hurt himself with continuing control troubles. He walked three, all on full counts in the first inning.

Niese set down the first two batters of the night before Joey Votto walked, Brandon Phillips looped a single and Jay Bruce walked.

Todd Frazier followed with a hard grounder right at Wright, and the ball bounced under his glove and let two runs score. Earlier this season, Wright ran his errorless streak to 77 games, a team record for third basemen.

"That ball was scorched," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "I know they called it an error, but whatever happened to the old `too hot to handle?"'

Either way, the Reds were on their way.

"It was hit sharply and just got a tricky in-between hop," Wright said. "I looked at the replay and trying to learn what I could have done differently and really couldn't do much."

"Just wish the ball would have found the glove because Jon Niese settled in and was fantastic those next five innings and really did a nice job saving the bullpen. So I wish I could have made that one," he said. "When things aren't going so great, one play like that can cost you a game and it did today."

Donald Lutz then beat out an infield hit that reloaded the bases and Mesoraco drew another walk that forced home a run. Niese struck out Leake to end an inning in which he threw 48 pitches, and walked off the mound holding the glove in his throwing hand.

"That's what you want to do -- jump `em early," Baker said. "Break the spirit of the opposing pitcher. A lot times, they think they're throwing good in the bullpen and then, `What happened?"'

Mesoraco hit reliever Collin McHugh's first pitch in the ninth for his second home run.

Votto extended his hitting streak to 10 games while Bruce's string ended at 11.

Notes

  • Reds SS Zack Cozart returned to the lineup after missing two games because of a stomach illness.
  • Reds CF Shin-Soo Choo got a day off.
  • Mets ace RHP Matt Harvey (5-0, 1.55 ERA) starts Wednesday afternoon vs. RHP Mat Latos (4-0, 2.91).
  • The win made the Reds 146-145 all-time when visiting the Mets, including games at the Polo Grounds, Shea Stadium and Citi Field.
  • Niese struck out seven. He has walked 27 and fanned 31 this season.
  • The Mets have scored three runs or less in nine straight home games.
  • The Reds improved to 12-12 on the road this year.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Mike Leake lowers his ERA down to 3.25 after spinning seven shutout innings against the skidding Mets. (Getty Images)
Mike Leake lowers his ERA down to 3.25 after spinning seven shutout innings against the skidding Mets. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

D. Mesoraco
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
New York

J. Niese
IP 6.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 3
K 7
 
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Derrick Robinson, CF5000020 .281
Zack Cozart, SS5010010 .206
Joey Votto, 1B3110111 .353
Brandon Phillips, 2B4110012 .279
Jay Bruce, RF3100121 .280
Todd Frazier, 3B4020000 .231
Donald Lutz, LF4010012 .278
Devin Mesoraco, C3112111 .234
Mike Leake, P3000014 .217
    Sam LeCure, P0000000 .000
   a- Jack Hannahan, PH1000010 .216
    Logan Ondrusek, P0000000 .000
Totals35472311  
a-struck out for LeCure in the 9th
Batting
2B - Todd Frazier (9, Niese)
HR - Devin Mesoraco (2, McHugh)
RBI - Devin Mesoraco 2 (12)
2-OUT RBI - Devin Mesoraco (4)
Team LOB - 7
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mike Leake (W,4-2) 7300240 3.25
Sam LeCure (H,6) 1000110 1.35
Logan Ondrusek 1000020 3.71
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Leake 99-61, Sam LeCure 18-10, Logan Ondrusek 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Leake 11-6, Logan Ondrusek 1-0
Batters Faced - Mike Leake 26, Sam LeCure 4, Logan Ondrusek 3
New York Mets
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Daniel Murphy, 2B4010011 .292
Mike Baxter, RF3000112 .222
David Wright, 3B4000012 .301
Lucas Duda, LF3010111 .226
Rick Ankiel, CF4000012 .213
John Buck, C4010000 .224
Ike Davis, 1B3000002 .149
Ruben Tejada, SS2000110 .210
Jonathon Niese, P1000000 .143
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
    Scott Rice, P0000000 .000
   a- Jordany Valdespin, PH1000010 .215
    Collin McHugh, P0000000 .000
Totals2903037  
a-struck out for Rice in the 8th
Batting
2B - Lucas Duda (7, Leake), John Buck (4, Leake)
SH - Jonathon Niese (2)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - David Wright (4, Misplayed grounder)
New York Mets
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jonathon Niese (L,3-5) 6530370 4.80
LaTroy Hawkins 1100010 3.15
Scott Rice 1000020 2.91
Collin McHugh 1111011 12.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jonathon Niese 106-74, LaTroy Hawkins 11-8, Scott Rice 9-7, Collin McHugh 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jonathon Niese 8-4, Scott Rice 1-0, Collin McHugh 1-1
Batters Faced - Jonathon Niese 27, LaTroy Hawkins 4, Scott Rice 3, Collin McHugh 4
Game Information
Attendance - 23183
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Tom Hallion