(SportsNetwork.com) - Few hitters have gotten the better of Atlanta starter Shelby Miller this season, but Cincinnati hurler Mike Leake is one of them.
Leake looks to continue his impressive run on the mound and perhaps help himself at the plate again on Monday night as the Reds kick off a three-game set with the Braves.
The right-handed Leake is riding a 16-inning scoreless streak, a run that began with a victory over Atlanta and Miller on April 30. He limited the Braves to a pair of hits and two walks over eight innings, improving to 4-2 with a 2.03 earned run average in seven career games versus the Braves. Leake also took Miller deep for his fifth career homer.
The 27-year-old followed up his first win of the season with another eight- inning effort on Wednesday in a 3-0 triumph over Pittsburgh. Leake did not walk a batter and worked around six hits while logging a pair of strikeouts. He moved to 2-1 with a 2.47 ERA on the year and is closing in on his career- high 21 2/3-scoreless innings streak set from Sept. 6-24, 2013.
"He was great," Reds manager Bryan Price said of his starter. "You could see early on that he had control of both sides of the plate."
That loss by Miller was his first of the season as he fell to 2-3 with a 3.24 ERA in seven career games against the Reds. He ended up being charged with three runs -- two earned over seven innings, striking out nine but also giving up a homer to Tucker Barnhart right before Leake's shot.
Miller, though, needed just 99 pitches to rebound on Tuesday with a 9-0 shutout victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, scattering three hits and one walk while striking out eight. The righty moved to 4-1 with a 1.66 ERA across his first six starts with the Braves.
"Obviously, it has started off well but at the same time you have to keep being motivated going forward," Miller said.
Miller will look to play stopper tonight as the Braves were swept in a three- game set over the weekend by the Washington Nationals. They dropped Sunday's finale 5-4.
Freddie Freeman was 2-for-4 with two runs scored for the Braves, who have lost four of their last six. Starter Alex Wood went 3-for-3 with an RBI and gave up three runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings for a no-decision.
"In a caliber of the club we were up against this weekend we knew it was going to be tough," said Wood.
The Reds, meanwhile, struggled to back-to-back losses to the Chicago White Sox after winning Friday's series opener 10-4. They were unable to secure the series win, losing 4-3 on Sunday following a rare poor showing by closer Aroldis Chapman.
Chapman retired the first two batters he faced in the ninth inning, but gave up three straight singles. The third came off the bat of Gordon Beckham, whose hit to right-center field chased home the winning run.
"To me it was a really good pitch. He was actually behind, but he made contact," Chapman said through an interpreter.
Zack Cozart's third hit of the game for the Reds plated a pair of runs in the ninth inning to put Cincinnati in position to win the game.
The Braves have won seven of their last 11 versus the Reds, splitting a four- game set at home from April 30-May 3.