MLB In Full Bloom - Mike Leake Dazzles In Dominant Effort - 6/27/2014

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Mike Leake held the San Francisco Giants to one run over eight innings, striking out 12, to lead the Reds to a 3-1 victory on Thursday. Leake's only mistake was an Adam Duvall solo homer in the seventh inning when the Reds held a 3-0 lead. Leake has won three straight starts as he has benefited from 19 runs of support he didn't need, allowing just six runs over 21 innings. Leake will carry a solid 3.41 ERA into a nice matchup when he takes the mound in San Diego on Tuesday. The wins have been coming in bunches of late for Cincinnati, which has won five of its last six games and eight of 11. The club improved to 40-38 to move two games above a .500 record for the first time this season. It's a particularly opportune time for a hot club to face a first-place team, as the reeling Giants have lost 12 of their last 16 games.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Josh Beckett threw seven shutout innings, scattering four hits, in a no-decision against the Cardinals on Thursday. Beckett struck out four and walked two to neutralize Adam Wainwright in a fierce 1-0 Dodgers' victory. Beckett is on a roll as he has thrown 14 straight shutout innings and allowed just four runs over his past 29 innings pitched. Beckett entered the game with a 1.58 ERA over his last six outings. Now, he owns a shocking 6-2 record and 2.11 ERA. He'll face the Indians next week.
  • Ryan Braun went 2-for-3 with two walks, a stolen base, and two runs scored in Thursday's win over the Rockies. Braun walked and scored in the first inning, then singled and scored in the fifth. His eighth-inning stolen base was his eight of the season in 11 attempts, and he is now batting .284 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI. At 49-32, the Brewers lead the Major Leagues in victories and is off to its best 81-game start in a franchise history that dates to 1969 -- two games better than the previous mark set in 1979 and matched in 2007.
  • Rick Porcello earned his 10th win with a three-hit shutout over the Rangers on Thursday. It marked the second complete game and the first shutout of his career.  Porcello allowed three hits, walked three, and struck out six on the evening. He is having the best season of his career following years of mediocrity, now the proud owner of a 3.41 ERA in 97 2/3 innings. He'll look to keep the ball rolling in next week's home start against the Athletics.
  • Chase Utley went 3-for-7 with an RBI single and a walk-off two-run home run in Thursday's 14-inning victory over the Marlins. It was Utley's first walk-off hit since 2007 and it was the Phillies' only extra-base hit on the night. Utley has been in a bad slump at the plate, but still maintains a respectable .296 batting average with six home runs and 37 RBI on the season.
  • Hanley Ramirez (shoulder) had an MRI on his right shoulder showed on Thursday and it showed no structural damage. Ramirez hasn't played since aggravating his shoulder injury on Monday, but he will avoid the disabled list for now. He remains day-to-day with irritation of the A/C joint in his shoulder.
  • Bryce Harper (thumb) could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Monday. Harper played in right field for Double-A Harrisburg last night, and is scheduled to play nine innings in center field Saturday and then play in left field Sunday. If everything goes will, which it has to this point, he could be in the lineup versus the Rockies Monday. Harper has been on the shelf since late April with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb.