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Leake struggles again as Reds lose to Rockies

Published 12:43am Monday, September 2, 2013

DENVER (AP) — Reds starter Mike Leake struggled again Sunday.

Leake was knocked out in the fifth inning in the Colorado Rockies’ 7-4 victory over Cincinnati.

Leake (11-6) allowed six runs and eight hits and struck out four in 4 1-3 innings.

In his past four starts, Leake is 1-1 with a 7.89 ERA, following a stretch where he gave up three or fewer runs in 12 of 15 starts from May 15 to Aug. 4.

“I still feel like I’m making pitches,” Leake said. “Just two or three mistakes per game kind of got me. Maybe in the past, when I was missing kind off the plate instead of on the plate. So that could probably be a part of it.”

Todd Helton doubled for his 2,500th career hit, Michael Cuddyer homered among his four hits and the Rockies overcame the loss of starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood to win the deciding game of the series.

Helton became the 96th player in major league history to reach 2,500 hits. Cuddyer went 4 for 4 with three RBIs.

Shin-Soo Choo homered and had three hits for the Reds. Chris Heisey was 4 for 4.

Helton homered twice Friday to move within one hit of the milestone, but went 0 for 4 on Saturday. He flied out, struck out and walked Sunday before facing reliever Curtis Partch in the seventh inning.

Helton worked the count full before hitting a ball down the left-field line. He just beat the throw to second for his 584th career double.

He received a standing ovation from the crowd of 30,594 and tipped his helmet to the cheering fans.

The Rockies were in control before Helton’s big moment after breaking it open in the fifth against Leake. DJ LeMahieu’s two-run double snapped a 2-all tie, Troy Tulowitzki walked and Cuddyer doubled to make it 5-2.

Nolan Arenado, who homered earlier, added a sacrifice fly off reliever Alfredo Simon.

“They’re all mistakes that they hit, and they made me pay,” Leake said of the pitches to LeMahieu and Cuddyer in the fifth and Arenado in the second.

Cuddyer’s 18th home run leading off the seventh gave the Rockies a 7-2 lead.

Cincinnati scored single runs in the eighth and ninth to get within three before Rex Brothers got the final out.

Chatwood, activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game, left in the third with a bruised right thumb after he tried to catch Leake’s line drive up the middle with his bare hand. He was checked by a team trainer and initially stayed in the game.

The right-hander allowed a two-run homer to Choo, his 18th, and walked the next two batters before leaving. X-rays were negative, but Chatwood’s thumb was swollen.

He was replaced by righty Adam Ottavino, who got out of the inning with some nifty defense.

With runners on first and second and two outs, Heisey reached on an infield single up the middle. Joey Votto tried to score from second but Helton, who took a relay from Tulowitzki, wheeled and threw out Votto standing up.

Ottavino (1-2) tossed three scoreless innings to tie his season high and get the win.

The Rockies staked Chatwood to an early 2-0 lead on an RBI double by Cuddyer in the first and a leadoff homer by Arenado in the second.

NOTES: Helton moved past Robin Yount into 17th place on the career doubles list. … Umpire Brian O’Nora left abruptly in the top of the eighth due to illness. The game continued with three umps. … The Rockies recalled INF Josh Rutledge from Triple-A before the game. … The Reds recalled Partch, INF Henry Rodriguez and OF Derrick Robinson. … Rockies RHP Chad Bettis (0-3) will open a three-game series against the Dodgers on Monday. … Reds RHP Mat Latos (13-5) starts Monday against St. Louis.

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