Friday, May 27, 2011
Posted: 11:30 p.m. Updated: May 28, 12:40 a.m.
The Associated Press
Reds 5, Braves 1
ATLANTA -- Mike Leake returned from the minors with a simple goal.
"I was just trying to go out and get a quality outing," he said, "because all the arms had been used up lately."
Leake pitched six strong innings to give Cincinnati's depleted rotation a boost and the Reds beat the Atlanta Braves 5-1 on Friday night for only their second win in 10 games.
Leake (4-2) gave Cincinnati its first win by a starter since May 16. The right-hander allowed one run, seven hits and three walks in six innings.
"It was very important that he came in and did what he did," said Cincinnati's Fred Lewis, who scored a run and drove in a run. "We just had a 19-inning game (on Wednesday). Our pitchers were struggling. Our bullpen was struggling."
Leake gave manager Dusty Baker a scare by walking two batters in the first. Baker said Leake was sent to Triple-A Louisville two weeks ago to focus on his control.
"Just pitch to contact," Baker said.
Leake quickly regained his composure.
"I think it was more just trying to be a little too picky and not going after them," Leake said. "I was trying to be too cute."
Ramon Hernandez hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Braves closer Craig Kimbrell.
"That's a quality team and that was a huge home run, especially off the closer," Baker said. "That was big. Those two runs took it from a two-run game to a four-run game. With only three outs to go, that's huge insurance."
The Braves loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth before Nick Massett ended the threat on Alex Gonzalez's grounder to shortstop Paul Janish.
Leake, 23, was recalled from Louisville on Friday for his first start since May 3. He was needed after the Reds lost Homer Bailey to an injury and Edinson Volquez was sent to the minors.
After the first, Leake's only other walk was to Chipper Jones to open the fourth.
Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth in a non-save situation.
Nationals 2, Padres 1
WASHINGTON -- On a night when Washington ended a five-game losing streak with a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth, the focus postgame was on a player who was hitless in four at-bats.
After Michael Morse's home run lifted the Nationals to a 2-1 win over the San Diego Padres on Friday night, he trotted around the bases, tossed his helmet off and was pounded by his exuberant teammates. Moments later after a postgame interview, Morse was hit with shaving cream and doused with Gatorade.
Jayson Werth was greeted with hard questions. After the fifth loss in Milwaukee, Werth, who signed a seven-year, 126 million contract last December said that "changes" had to be made.
A testy Werth stood in front of his locker and said he felt his words were taken out of context
"Changes need to be made. We need to start winning ballgames. We need to start hitting the ball. We need to do what we've got to do to win games. That's all it was," Werth said. "What happened from the end of the game in Milwaukee until today had nothing to do with me. That's just people making up stories and saying things that they don't know what they're talking about."
Before the game, manager Jim Riggleman felt compelled to defend his star slugger, who's batting .249 and has just 18 RBIs in 50 games. Riggleman spoke with Werth and didn't think his criticisms were directed at him.
"The losing that's taken place here the (last) couple of years -- that's got to change. We've got to change some things -- what we do -- how we play," Riggleman said.
Not long after he greeted Morse at home plate, Werth bristled when asked if he was misunderstood.
"We've got to what it takes to win ballgames. It has nothing to do with personnel changes, changes this, changes that. That's all words put into my mouth by other people."
Morse, who had a wonderful spring training, started the season off poorly, but with first baseman Adam LaRoche on the disabled list with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, he's inherited the job.
He's worn it well, hitting home runs in four straight. This was his sixth home run of the year -- his first game-winner and accompanying celebration.
"The pie that was great. That was awesome. The full Gatorade bath," Morse said. "That was something I'll never forget."
Drew Storen (3-1), who blew his first save of the season when Jason Bartlett homered to lead off the ninth, was the winner. He pitched 1 1-3 innings.
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