Leake outdueled by Peralta; Reds shut out

Despite strong effort on mound, Cincy can't score against Brewers

Leake outdueled by Peralta; Reds shut out

CINCINNATI -- In a game that was well pitched by both sides, the Reds were the ones left holding the bag of regret.

Reds starter Mike Leake, familiar with getting some big hits himself, wished he made a better pitch to his counterpart in Brewers starter Wily Peralta. Third baseman Todd Frazier lamented not seizing on the precious few opportunities Peralta offered from the mound.

In the end, Peralta had both of the game's RBIs with a fifth-inning double to go along with eight scoreless innings pitched to hand the Reds a 2-0 loss. The teams have split the first two games of a four-game series.

"It was a very, very well-pitched game," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Peralta just didn't give us anything to get excited about offensively. We didn't have multiple innings with multiple runners. He just kept us at bay."

It was already the fourth time this season that the Reds were shut out, and also the fifth time they've lost a game when the pitching staff allowed two or fewer runs.

Leake worked eight solid innings himself and, besides the two runs, gave up seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts.

The Reds were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position while the Brewers were 1-for-7. Of course, that one clutch hit came from their pitcher.

"What can you say about guys going out there and pitching eight innings?" Price said. "You pitch eight innings, it's typically a good performance after that. That was two runs. It's unfortunate because the pitcher hit the double that scored the runs. However, in the end, those guys are dangerous too, especially as we know how Mike swings the bat."

Leake retired his first nine batters in a row before Carlos Gomez started the fourth inning by reaching on a single to shortstop, and then advancing on Zack Cozart's throwing error. It was Cozart's first error of the season.

A double play got Leake out of the fourth inning, but a two-out double by Peralta to right field on a first-pitch fastball in the top of the fifth scored Lyle Overbay and Jean Segura.

"It was probably not the best pitch, the first pitch to him," said Leake, who is 2-3 with a 3.53 ERA in six starts. "Just because you know pitchers like to hack. I still threw pretty good and had great defense behind me."

That would be all Milwaukee, and Peralta, needed against the Reds.

In the bottom of the first inning, Chris Heisey led off with an infield single after a diving stop by third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Joey Votto walked to put two on with no outs, but Frazier grounded to third base for a double play and Jay Bruce struck out for the first of four times on his 0-for-4 night.

Peralta had retired eight in a row until Votto led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a drive to the top of the left-field fence. It was originally ruled a double, but looked like a possible home run. A crew chief review of the play confirmed the original call.

"We saw the same replays they did. It hit off the top of the yellow," Price said. "It has to go over the yellow and out of the ballpark, basically. … They got it right."

Votto was left stranded when Frazier grounded out to shortstop, Bruce struck out and Brayan Pena flied out to left field.

"When it's 0-0, you've got to figure out a way. Maybe I'll bunt it the next time," Frazier said. "Votto got on twice and I had first and second, and second, with nobody out. When you have two opportunities like that, you've got to finish and figure them out."

A two-out walk in the fifth by Ramon Santiago was followed by Leake reaching on Segura's two-base throwing error. Heisey, however, grounded out to end the inning.

Peralta's final hit allowed was Frazier's ground-rule double to right-center field with one out in the sixth. Bruce then struck out for the third time and Pena grounded out to first as Peralta retired his final eight in a row before giving way to closer Francisco Rodriguez, who already has 14 saves on the season.

"He was throwing the hard fastball. It's got movement," Frazier said of Peralta. "You got to be looking away on him but if it is away, it's probably going to come back in. He had a good run on his fastball, 98-plus mph. It's tough to hit sometimes, but at the same time, I had some opportunities. Get the guy over, it's not that hard."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.