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Rookie Leake wins again, Reds helped by Pence's E

HOUSTON (AP) — Rookie Mike Leake pitched seven sharp innings and the Cincinnati Reds scored three runs on a blunder by right fielder Hunter Pence to beat the Houston Astros 6-4 on Wednesday night.

Leake (2-0), who never pitched in the minors, gave up five hits and struck out five. Cincinnati won its third in a row.

The Reds were up 2-0 in the fourth inning when Pence appeared to misjudge a high fly hit by Brandon Phillips. The ball dropped just beyond his glove for an error that cleared the bases.

Lance Berkman hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Nick Masset. Closer Francisco Cordero gave up Geoff Blum's run-scoring single before retiring the last two batters with runners on first and second.

Leake, the eighth overall pick in last year's draft, is the 21st player since the draft started in 1965 to play in the majors without spending a day in the minors.

Leake gave up a single with one out in the first inning before the Reds turned a double play to get out of that inning. The 22-year-old flew through the next few innings, retiring the next 10 straight. He didn't allow another hit until a double by Pedro Feliz with one out in the fifth inning.

Pence singled before Leake walked Kaz Matsui to load the bases and send pitching coach Bryan Price to the mound for a visit with his rookie.

Humberto Quintero drove in Houston's first run with his groundout that made it 6-1. Leake walked pinch-hitter Cory Sullivan, but was able to limit the damage by striking out Michael Bourn to end the inning.

Orlando Cabrera singled and Ramon Hernandez doubled with one out in the Reds fourth. Drew Stubbs walked with two outs to load the bases before Pence's costly error made it 5-0. Scott Rolen added an RBI double off Felipe Paulino (0-3).

Joey Votto hit an RBI triple in the third. Stubbs singled to start the game, stole second and scored on Rolen's grounder.

NOTES: Leake got his fourth career hit with a single in the sixth inning, but was thrown out when he tried to stretch it into a double. Jeff Keppinger tagged him as he slid head first toward second base. ... The homer was the 315th in Berkman's career, moving him ahead of Reggie Smith and into sole possession of fifth place on the all-time list for switch-hitters.