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 last night.
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 last night.
Leake pitched three-hit ball for seven innings and the Cincinnati Reds parlayed third baseman David Wright’s early error into a 4-0 victory over the New York Mets.
Leake, one of the major leagues’ best-hitting pitchers, struck out to end the Reds’ first inning. They already led 3-0 by then, scoring 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 leading off the ninth to finish the scoring in the Reds’ ninth win in 11 games.
“That’s what you want to do — jump ’em early,” manager Dusty 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?’?”
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 getting out 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 right-hander has never pitched a shutout in the majors, and he was pulled for reliever Sam LeCure to begin the eighth.
LeCure and Logan Ondrusek each threw a hitless inning to finish up.