SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Mike Leake has gotten stronger every year, and his fastball velocity has increased as a result. Even so, he still doesn’t know where all those strikeouts came from.
Leake allowed four hits in eight innings and had a career-high 12 strikeouts in the Cincinnati Reds’ 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night.
“It didn’t feel like that many,” said Leake, who allowed one run and walked one, which was intentional. “But I guess it’s a big accomplishment. I’m not high on strikeouts.”
Cincinnati manager Bryan Price thinks Leake (6-6) could be a strikeout pitcher if that was his goal.
“He’s pretty consistent hitting 93, 94 mph with his fastball,” said the former pitching coach. “That’s not a fastball you have to apologize for. He could throw more pitches and be less effective but strike out more guys.”
Brandon Phillips had three hits, including a home run and double, and scored twice in his return to the lineup for the Reds, who won their fifth in six games.
Leake, still looking for his first major league shutout, didn’t try to talk his way onto the mound for the ninth. He hasn’t pitched a complete game in nearly two years.
Aroldis Chapman worked the ninth for his 15th save in 16 chances.
“We have a good closer, why not use him?” Leake said.
Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier each added two hits for the Reds. Bruce doubled in the seventh and has an extra-base hit in each of his last seven games, the longest streak by a Reds player since Dave Parker did it in eight straight in 1986.
“We seem to play well here,” Bruce said. “With this pitching staff, if you put runs on the board, you have a chance.”
Adam Duvall, making his major league debut, hit a home run for the Giants, who lost for the 12th time in 16 games.
Ryan Vogelsong (5-4) allowed a run on five hits over six innings one day after Tim Lincecum threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres. He struck out seven and walked one.
“I rubbed up against him before the game, but it didn’t work,” Vogelsong said. “I just wasn’t good enough.”
Jean Machi, who allowed Phillips’ home run leading off the seventh, had his scoreless streak end at 25 1-3 innings.