Mike Leake has been spectacular his last three starts for the Cincinnati Reds, but the right-hander struggled in his only start when facing the Pittsburgh Pirates this season.
Leake heads back to the mound tonight when the Reds resume their weekend series in Pittsburgh. He's 2-0 with an astounding 0.43 ERA in his last three starts. That includes a season-high 16 2/3 inning scoreless streak that was snapped Monday against Cleveland.
Leake is 2-3 with a 3.54 ERA in 12 career games against the Pirates.
Francisco Liriano tries to bounce back from his first loss of the season tonight for the Buccos. The lefty was beaten in Detroit on Monday after allowing eight hits and four runs in five innings. He's never faced the Reds.
Last night, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce both hit solo homers and Johnny Cueto tossed eight stellar innings of one-hit ball to help the Reds blank the Pirates, 6-0, in the 1,000th regular season game in PNC Park history.
Cueto (3-0), who returned to Pittsburgh for the first time since suffering a strained right triceps in a 3-1 loss April 13, struck out six and walked one batter in the impressive victory.
The right-hander also improved to 13-4 in 21 career starts against the Pirates, including a 8-2 mark in 13 games at Pittsburgh.
"He was pretty vintage if there is such a thing," Bruce said of Cueto. "He looked great."
Phillips scored three times while Derrick Robinson drove in two runs for the Reds, who snapped a brief two-game skid.
Pittsburgh, which had a six-game home winning streak come to an end, saw starter Wandy Rodriguez (6-3) allow both solo shots and walk three over seven innings.
The lefty was looking to win a career-high five straight starts, but fell to 0-3 over his last six outings versus Cincinnati.
The Pirates swept a three-game series over the Reds at PNC Park during the season's first month (April 12-14).