Reds' Leake shuts down Cards in final game of series -

Reds' Leake shuts down Cards in final game of series

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

(BaseballStL) — In the final game of the second series, the Reds offense finally had enough to overpower the Cardinals. 

Racking up 10 hits and four runs, Cincinnati cruised to a shutout victory Wednesday. 

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After retiring eight hitters in a row and dodging trouble after, Shelby Miller finally cracked in the fourth inning. 

Following a strong game Tueday, Devin Mesoraco put the Reds out in front with a two-run blast to left. If nothing else happened the rest of the day it would have been enough, but Cincy wasn’t done. 

Denying the Cardinals the sweep, the Reds showcased their newest weapon. Billy Hamilton, the much-discussed human blur, reached base four times. 

He led the game off with a triple, walked once, bunted for a single, stole second twice and generally made everyone else look like they were in slow motion. 

The center fielder had been aboard four times in the series without scoring before Wednesday, and had actually reached third base twice. It took a few innings, but he was finally able to cross home. 

After reaching on a single in the fifth, Hamilton stole second with no throw from Yadier Molina. On a shallow fly to right, he tagged to third. Than on an even shallower fly to right, he tagged home. 

Jon Jay doesn’t exactly have a cannon in the outfield, but the fact Hamilton can even consider doing that makes the Reds a scary proposition. 

“This is the first time I’ve seen that,” said Molina after the game. “Every time you see a guy like that with speed like him, he’s going to change the game.”

In the ninth Hamilton bunted on, stole second and scored on a single, effectively putting the game out of reach. 

Mike Leake was near unhittable for the Reds, throwing eight innings and allowing only four hits while striking out four. 

“He kept guys off balance all day long,” Mike Matheny said after the game. “He was throwing just about any pitch in any location he wanted to in any count.”

The righty got 17 ground ball outs compared to four flyouts and threw 15 first pitch strikes.

“All nine of us could be swinging the bat well and he would have had his way with us today,” Matt Carpenter said after the game. 

Kolten Wong, Matt Holliday, Matt Adams and Yadier Molina all had hits, though never in the same inning. 

The Cardinals, now 5-4, will host the Cubs Friday.

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