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Reds hope for another strong start from Leake vs. Marlins

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cincinnati Reds haven't been winning a lot lately, but it hasn't been the fault of the starting pitchers.

Right-hander Mike Leake can prolong the recent game-opening success on Sunday afternoon when he and the Reds head to Marlins Park for the finale of a four- game series with the Miami Marlins.

Each of the first three games have seen a Cincinnati starter go seven innings and allow one run. Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos were winners after doing so in games one and two, while Homer Bailey got a no-decision in the Reds' extra- inning loss in on Saturday.

"These last three nights we've faced some pretty good pitchers so we're battling, we're grinding, I think you see guys trying to put some good at-bats together and we've hit some balls hard and not gotten some breaks," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.

Leake, for his part, is 2-0 with a 2.13 earned run average in two starts against Miami.

He was a 3-0 winner over Arizona in his most recent start, striking out eight batters in 7 2/3 scoreless innings and driving in a run with a single.

"He was on the attack," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "There's a certain element to him -- a competitiveness, a fierceness to the kid -- that makes him better than his stuff, and he's got good stuff."

Cincinnati's starting offense had five singles in 10 innings on Saturday. As a result, the Marlins were able to win 2-1 after Christian Yelich's RBI single in the 10th.

"Had some chances in the past and wasn't able to do it, so when you're able to come through like that it was a big win for us," Yelich said.

Miami starts right-hander Jacob Turner, who's won two straight starts since July 22 while posting a 2.53 ERA. A warning, however, that right-handed hitters have a .350 batting average against him in 2014.

In one career start against the Reds, in September 2012, he was a 4-0 winner with seven scoreless innings of two-hit work. In his last six turns at Marlins Park, though, he's 0-3 with a 6.91 ERA.

Cincinnati won six of its seven meetings with the Marlins last season.