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Pirates Squeak by Mike Leake, Reds

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Paul Maholm and the Pirates won 2-1 against Mike Leake and the Reds in a game that featured no scoring until the eighth inning. Last month I was skeptical of the Reds' decision to start Leake in the majors without his ever pitching in the minors. We probably won't ultimately know if their decision was a good one for another couple of years, but so far it looks great. Leake doesn't throw hard--his fastball rarely tops 90 MPH--but he changes speeds well and keeps the ball down very reliably, and his pitches have a bunch of movement. That'll get the job done.

Anyway, the Pirates didn't manage to score on Leake until the eighth, when Neil Walker, who was making his 2010 Pirates debut, doubled home Akinori Iwamura. That gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead, because Paul Maholm had kept the Reds silent before that, pitching seven shutout innings despite allowing eight baserunners and three doubles. Brandon Phillips homered off Joel Hanrahan in the eighth to tie the game, but Ryan Doumit hit yet another clutch homer in the ninth to put the Pirates ahead for good.

In the minors: Daniel McCutchen went seven innings and Pedro Alvarez reached base three times for Indianapolis in their 4-2 win over Gwinnett. Rudy Owens pitched seven innings for the win and Chase D'Arnaud went 3-for-4 for Altoona. (It would be nice for D'Arnaud to get going with the bat--he's adjusted very slowly to Class AA.) Bradenton piled up 14 hits, almost all of them by prospects, in beating Fort Myers 6-2. Brock Holt went 4-for-5, Robbie Grossman went 3-for-4, Tony Sanchez went 2-for-3 with a walk, and Jeremy Farrell went 2-for-4 with a homer. And we already covered the West Virginia game, in which Kyle McPherson pitched seven no-hit innings.