Published May 22, 2012
| Sports Network
Cincinnati, OH – Mike Leake gave up one run on two hits over eight innings and also hit a solo home run to lead the Reds to a 4-1 win over the Braves in the opener of a four-game series Monday.
Leake (1-5) had six strikeouts and walked just one en route to his first victory since Sept. 13 last year.
Drew Stubbs had a pair of solo homers and Zack Cozart also had a solo blast as Cincinnati won its third straight game. Leake, Cozart and Stubbs hit back-to- back-to-back homers in the fourth inning.
"He had it going on big time tonight," Reds manager Dusty Baker said about Leake. "I'm just so glad for him that he got on the board finally. It's big for us too. This is a big series against a very good team and a very good hitting team."
Mike Minor (2-4) was charged with the loss after giving up all four runs over six frames.
Juan Francisco homered for Atlanta, which lost for the second time in three tries.
The Reds went ahead 1-0 in the first when Stubbs belted a 1-2 changeup over the left field wall.
The Braves knotted it up in the second when Francisco homered to right. The ball was plunging towards foul territory, but stayed inside the foul pole long enough for Francisco to pick up his fourth home run of the year.
Cincinnati wasted an opportunity in the home half after loading the bases with two outs. Joey Votto worked a full count but Minor was able to get the Reds slugger to fly out to left.
Three straight homers gave the Reds their 4-1 advantage in the fourth.
Leake helped his own cause when he crushed a ball in to the left field stands before Cozart laced a pitch over the wall in left-center. Stubbs followed suit after getting ahead 3-0 in the count, driving a 3-2 pitch over the fence in right-center for his second homer of the game.
"If I get the ball down then those balls aren't hit as well, but they are good hitters and they did what they are supposed to do," said Minor.
The Braves tried to put together a ninth inning rally after Dan Uggla and Brian McCann reached on back-to-back walks with two outs, but Sean Marshall took over for Jose Arredondo and got his eighth save when Jason Heyward flied out to right.
Commemorative bases will be used all series to salute the career of Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, who will retire at the end of the season. Jones missed his third straight game with a leg injury...Leake hit his first career home run...Stubbs had the third multi-homer game of his career...The Braves' two hits marked a season-low.