(Sports Network) - Mike Leake tries to match Johnny Cueto's terrific effort
from Saturday when he takes the hill for the Cincinnati Reds this afternoon in
the finale of a three-game set against the Minnesota Twins at Great American
Leake, who is 2-5 with a 4.70 ERA, had been slated to go on Monday, but Reds
manager Dusty Baker announced Friday that he and Mat Latos were switching
spots in the rotation.
"Leake and (Tuesday's starter Bronson) Arroyo are very similar," Baker said.
"Plus the extra day with the off-day (on Thursday), too, gave us the liberty
to do something."
Leake did not get a decision Tuesday in Cleveland, but pitched well,
surrendering just a run and six hits in seven innings of a 3-2 loss.
After dropping Friday night's game, the Reds managed to even the series
Saturday afternoon, winning 6-0. The win also marked the end of their season-
high four-game losing streak.
Cueto (9-3) has been spectacular all season long, but Saturday's
performance was arguably his most dominant yet. He pitched seven innings
allowing three hits and no runs, striking out nine and walking just
one, lowering his ERA to 2.21 in the process.
"We have incredible confidence in Johnny every time he touches the ball,"
Cincinnati third basemen Scott Rolen said. "What I really liked, though, was
even though we lost four games, I didn't notice anybody thinking we were
really struggling or in a dire position of needing a win."
Cincinnati did most of their damage in the four-run fourth inning, which was
highlighted by a two-run homer from Brandon Phillips, his 10th of the season.
Rolen, Jay Bruce, and Todd Frazier all had two hits for the Reds, and
Cueto helped himself with a pair of RBI, including a squeeze play in the
Taking the loss for the Twins was Brian Duensing (1-3), who lasted just three
innings while allowing four hits, two walks, and four earned runs. Anthony
Swarzak helped save the Minnesota bullpen by playing damage control in four
innings of relief, giving up just one run.
Ryan Doumit had one of the Twins' three hits, extending his hit streak to a
modest six games.
It was the seventh time this season that Minnesota has been shut out.
Scott Diamond is set to throw for the Twins this afternoon. The southpaw has
been Minnesota's most effective starting pitcher this season, racking up a 5-3
record and a very impressive 2.57 ERA.
Since his hot start however, Diamond has been scuffling. He's given up eight
earned runs in his past 11 1/3 innings, suffering back-to-back losses to the
Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies.
The Sports Network