By Joe Frisaro and Steve Wilaj
MLB.com |@JoeFrisaro |
MIAMI -- Mike Leake may have lost his no-hit bid in the fifth inning on Friday night, but the Reds right-hander continued his mastery over the Marlins. Leake struck out a season-high 10 over eight shutout innings of three-hit ball, Aroldis Chapman recorded his 18th save and Jay Bruce deposited a home run in the second inning that lifted Cincinnati to a 1-0 win at Marlins Park.
Leake improved to 5-1 with a 1.33 ERA in six career starts against the Marlins. The first hit he allowed was Derek Dietrich's one-out single in the fifth inning. In the seventh, Miami threatened after pinch-hitter Ichiro Suzuki singled and advanced to third, but he was stranded after Leake got Adeiny Hechavarria to bounce out to short.
"He had the good cutter and was really just more aggressive, I thought," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We've seen that before from him. It's always fun when he's locked in, and he took us right to Chapman, which was great."
Casey McGehee, who signed with the Marlins after clearing release waivers on Friday afternoon, delivered a pinch-hit double with two outs in the eighth inning. But Leake struck out Dee Gordon for the third time, thwarting the rally.
"Leake was good," McGehee said. "I've seen him when he was good before. He had that cutter going. He wasn't missing with it. You could tell early on that it was going to be one of those games where it didn't take much to win it. At some point you've got to tip your cap to the other guy."
David Phelps had a strong start for Miami, but he was victimized by Bruce, who had a homer, a double and a walk. Phelps allowed the lone run on five hits with four strikeouts and the walk in six innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bruce's blast: Leading off the second inning, Bruce wasted no time when he jumped on Phelps' first-pitch fastball and hit it into the upper deck of the right-field seats. The lefty's 13th homer of the season traveled a projected 394 feet according to Statcast™, and left the bat at 107 mph.
"Last time we faced him, he was a guy that threw strikes," Bruce said. "I was ready to hit from pitch one -- looking for a mistake -- and he left a ball up that I could get to."
Dietrich gets first hit: Leake was sailing along, retiring the first 10 batters he faced before Christian Yelich drew a one-out walk in the fourth inning. Still, Miami was held without a hit by Leake until the fifth inning when Dietrich floated a soft liner into right field. The single was just beyond the reach of first baseman Joey Votto. Miami wasn't able to do anything after the hit, as Leake retired the next two on routine ground balls.
Leake likes South Florida: On June 19 at Great American Ball Park, Leake held the Marlins to two hits in seven scoreless innings. But he's been even better at Marlins Park, improving to 3-0 with a 0.44 ERA in three starts. Leake's 1.33 ERA in his career against the Marlins is his lowest against any opponent he's faced more than once.
"I think any team that you have good numbers with is just coincidence," he said. "I guess it might help pitching in a park like this, but it's just a team that you have to go after or else they'll make you pay."
McGehee makes big return: After a tough stint with the Giants, McGehee signed with the Marlins and found himself in uniform once again with the team he played for in 2014. In the eighth inning, McGehee delivered a pinch-hit double on a drive that nearly tied the game.
"I was really just trying to get a pitch to put in play," McGehee said. "It was one of those, I was really trying not to do too much. I was trying to get something I could hit hard somewhere." More >
"It's great to see Casey back. We've always respected who he is and certainly what he brings inside that clubhouse." -- Miami manager Dan Jennings, on the return of McGehee
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Chapman allowed a one-out single to Adeiny Hechavarria on a 103-mph fastball in the ninth, but he struck out the side, including getting Justin Bour and Michael Morse swinging through 103-mph fastballs.
WHAT'S NEXT Reds: With Anthony DeSclafani scratched on Friday, Raisel Iglesias (1-1, 5.11 ERA) starts in his place on Saturday at 4:10 p.m. ET. Iglesias has been on the 15-day disabled list on June 5.
Marlins:Mat Latos (3-6, 4.90) had been scheduled to make the start, but the right-hander was scratched due to a bruised right foot, suffered after he was struck in the dugout on a Christian Yelich foul ball on Thursday night. Lefty Adam Conley was called up from Triple-A New Orleans to make his first Major League start (second appearance).
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.