PITTSBURGH (AP) — Mike Leake’s scoreless outing was enough to get a win last time out. This time, he left with a no-decision.
Leake pitched seven innings of six-hit ball, but the Cincinnati Reds were shut down by Edinson Volquez in a 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
“I thought I pitched pretty well but (Volquez) was great,” Leake said. “It’s hard to win a game 1-0 and that’s the position he put us in.”
Leake threw 82 pitches while lowering his ERA to 3.38. He pitched 6 2-3 innings in a 1-0 victory over Atlanta last Saturday in his previous start.
The Pirates jumped on Jonathan Broxton (4-2) right after Leake left the game. Josh Harrison hit an RBI triple and scored on Jose Tabata’s tiebreaking single.
Harrison had three hits while also making a number of sparkling defensive plays. Tabata, starting in right field for the injured Travis Snider, finished with two hits in the Pirates’ sixth win in eight games.
“He’s unbelievable,” Volquez said of Harrison, who began the season as the last man on the Pirates’ bench but is now their leadoff hitter. “He can do everything. For me, he’s the MVP with the way he’s been playing. He’s an exciting player.”
Volquez was working on a no-hitter before Devin Mesoraco’s leadoff single in the seventh. He was charged with one run and three hits in 7 2-3 innings against one of his former teams, running his unbeaten streak to seven starts.
Cincinnati put two runners on in the eighth, chasing Volquez from the game. Mesoraco then put the Reds in front with an RBI single against Tony Watson (10-1), but Brandon Phillips was thrown out at home to end the inning.
Mesoraco had two of the Reds’ four hits.
Pinch-hitter Andrew Lambo, recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis before the game, sparked Pittsburgh’s eighth-inning rally with a one-out single off first baseman Todd Frazier’s glove. Then Harrison and Tabata followed with their big hits.
“It was really one pitch that hurt me,” Broxton said. “Harrison hit one off the right-field wall but the other two hits were ground balls.”
Reds: 1B Joey Votto experienced pain in the area of his troublesome left knee on Wednesday when he attempted to field ground balls for the first time since going on the disabled list July 6 with a distal quadriceps strain, manager Bryan Price said Friday. Votto won’t be ready to play when he is eligible to come off the disabled list on Thursday, and the rest of the season is in doubt.
Pirates: 1B Pedro Alvarez (sprained left foot) sat out for a second game and Snider (left hamstring discomfort) was not in the lineup after leaving Wednesday’s win over St. Louis. Both are day to day.
Reds: RHP Alfredo Simon (13-8, 3.26 ERA) will start Saturday in his first outing since breaking a five-game losing streak Sunday by beating Atlanta. Simon is 1-4 with a 4.74 ERA in eight starts in the second half after going 12-3 with a 2.70 ERA in 18 starts in the first half and being selected to his first All-Star game.
Pirates: RHP Vance Worley (5-4, 3.14 ERA) will try to bounce back after losing his last three starts and compiling a 6.11 ERA in that span.