Monday, May 21, 2012

Braves with a Minor Leake, Reds win battle of Mike's

Mike Leake is winless no more

On the heels of a successful road trip through Atlanta and New York, Cincinnati returned home to GABP on Monday to host Fredi Gonzalez's Braves. Mike Leake took the mound still in search of his first victory of the season, and found it thanks to a superb outing and plenty of support from his offense. The Reds (22-19) slugged four homers, including three in a row as part of a 3-run fourth, en route to a 4-1 victory over the NL-East leading Braves (26-20).

Here's the good, the bad and the long list of notables from Monday's melee:

The Good:
- Leake made the A-towners look like they were swinging tomahawks rather than bats. The right-hander permitted just one run and two hits through eight, superb frames. He struckout six and walked only one. His lone mistake was serving up a solo homer to former teammate Juan Francisco in the second. He also sparked back-to-back-to-back jacks when he went deep in the fourth.
- Drew Stubbs obviously ate his Wheaties VottO's this morning. He connected for two solo dingers (3,4) and reached base another time via walk.
- Zack Cozart homered and singled to help break out of his mini-funk. He made a nice leaping grab to rob Michael Bourn of a hit as well.
- Joey Votto singled and drew a pair of walks to help raise his OBP for the year to .461. That's pretty good, folks.
- The Redlegs win another game over a team with a winning record. They've played several of them in the past two weeks and have held their own thus far.
- ESPN televised the game before a national audience on Monday Night Baseball. Luckily, the Reds didn't disappoint.
- Sean Marshall nailed down his eighth save of the season.

The Bad:
- The 5-8 hitters combined to go (cover your eyes) 0-15 at the dish. Yikes.
- Todd Frazier, the no. 6 hitter tonight, recorded the hat trick with three Ks. He was also guilty of his third miscue of 2012.
- Jose Arredondo was called upon to close out the game, but was unable to after issuing a pair of walks.
- There was an alleged snow cone spill in section 120 during the seventh inning stretch. Let's all take a moment of silence in remembrance of the three rainbow snow cones that were lost in the tragic accident.

The Notables:
- Commemorative bases are being used during this series to salute the career of retiring Braves 3B Chipper Jones. One of those bases will be presented to Jones during a ceremony prior to Thursday's game. The Reds Hall of Fame and the Braves will also receive a game-used base.
- The Reds have now won 14 of the last 20 at GABP vs Braves.
- Scott Rolen is eligible to come off the disabled list May 27th, but that's not likely to happen. He's yet to resume swinging the bat although he was quoted on Monday in saying his ailing left shoulder was feeling better.
- Speaking of third basemen, former Red Juan Francisco got the starting nod for Atlanta tonight. He proceeded to go 1-3 with that aforementioned homer. He also committed an error on defense.
- The same fan caught two homerun balls not only in the same game, but in the same inning...from back-to-back hitters! (Cozart, Leake)
- Up next: Cincinnati sends Mat Latos (2-2, 4.63) to the mound on Tuesday to counter current NL ERA-leader Brandon Beachy (5-1, 1.33) of the Braves. The action will get underway at approximately 7:10pm ET.

Hats off to @jonheheman for providing tonight's headline via Twitter.

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