Righty stifles Marlins, retires first 13 in stellar 7-inning start
By Robert Bondy
CINCINNATI -- For the second time this month, Mike Leake carried a no-hitter deep into a ballgame, leading the Reds to a 5-0 win Friday night over the Marlins in the weekend series opener at Great American Ball Park.
Leake retired the first 13 batters he faced before walking Marcell Ozuna in the fifth inning to end his perfect start. The following inning, Christian Yelich singled to left field to break up the right-hander's no-hit bid at 5 2/3 innings.
Leake finished the evening with seven scoreless innings, surrendering only two hits, three walks and one hit by pitch. He also recorded seven strikeouts.
"Just aggressive attacking," Leake said. "Trying to keep the ball in the bottom of the zone, and I'm sure jet lag played a little part for them, but I felt like I was throwing the ball pretty good."
"It was really good stuff, and from the very first inning you could see he had his better velocity, and a very, very quick arm," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He was doing things that he doesn't do a lot and that was establishing [his] breaking ball early, both his curveball and slider. He made some great pitches with it."
The strong outing continues a hot stretch for Leake in June, which included another brush with history. He carried a no-hitter for a 6 2/3 innings on June 3 against the Phillies, a game the bullpen could not lock down for him. He is 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA and 21 strikeouts in four starts this month.
The impressive stretch for Leake followed a rough patch of 20 earned runs on 27 hits in only 14 innings across his final three starts of May.
"Those three games that I had that were bad, just lost my edge for a bit," Leake said. "I don't know how to explain it. I just wasn't able to think, I guess, but yeah, I feel like I'm coming back a little bit. I'm a guy that needs to attack and can't be scared to pitch."
Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.