Reds 2, Cubs 1

Mike Leake can look forward to next year thinking about how well

he ended this season.

Leake pitched eight effective innings, Brandon Phillips homered

again and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 Tuesday

night to end a three-game losing streak.

Leake (12-9) made the majors right out of Arizona State and this

is just his second season working out of a five-man rotation. The

Reds thought it best to limit his innings and do not plan to pitch

him again this year.

He finished with 175 innings, with all but seven in the major

leagues. He is the Reds’ leader in wins and strikeouts.

”I’d like to finish the year but I understand,” Leake said.

”The want to protect me and protect themselves.”

Leake allowed one run on six hits and two walks and struck out

two.

Leake pitched a career-high nine innings in his previous start,

giving up three hits against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. He took a

one-hit shutout into the ninth in that game before giving up

Starlin Castro’s two-out infield single and pinch-hitter Bryan

LaHair’s tying home run.

”We wanted him to have one more start after that tough ending

last time,” manager Dusty Baker said. ”He’s matured a lot as a

pitcher and a person. He reads bats well, fields his position and

is an all-around player. We will limit him to pinch-running and in

dire circumstances pinch-hitting.”

Leake was happy with his season, even with a brief demotion to

Triple-A Louisville.

”It was a good learning year. It was nice to go down for a

couple weeks and prove I belong,” Leake said.

Phillips homered for the third time in two games. He has 15 home

runs this year.

Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his 33rd save.

The Cubs saw their three-game winning streak come to an end

while wasting a solid pitching performance by Ryan Dempster

(10-12). He allowed two runs and six hits, striking out eight in

seven innings.

”That was fun,” Dempster said.

After combining for 27 hits, including seven home runs, and 20

runs in Monday’s 12-8 Chicago win, the Reds and Cubs produced a

total of 12 hits and three runs with one homer on Tuesday.

Phillips connected in the bottom of the first for his third home

run in four at-bats over the last two games.

The Reds made it 2-0 in the fifth. Devin Mesoraco drew a leadoff

walk, Leake grounded into a forceout, Phillips walked and Edgar

Renteria hit an RBI single. Renteria had three hits.

Carlos Pena led off the Cubs sixth with a double. He moved to

third on LaHair’s soft single to left-center field and scored on

Alfonso Soriano’s double-play grounder.

NOTES: Castro walked to lead off the game for the second

consecutive night. He has reached base at least once in 26

consecutive games. … LaHair extended his career-opening hitting

streak to eight games. … Reds RHP Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati’s

scheduled starter on Wednesday, trails Los Angeles LHP Clayton

Kershaw in the NL ERA race by .0044 percentage points. Cueto has

gone four starts without a decision, including two blown saves. …

Chicago’s scheduled starter, RHP Casey Coleman, hasn’t won in nine

appearances, including seven starts, since May 19 at Florida. He is

0-4 in the span.