PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Mike Leake isn't sure whether he's starting to figure things out after a bumpy April left his confidence a bit shaken and his ERA too high.
Still, there was a sense of relief after the Cincinnati Reds' right-hander put together his best performance of the season in a 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night.
Though Leake's record fell to 0-4, he pointed to signs of progress after allowing three runs and four hits in seven innings. He walked four and struck out four.
"It's definitely a step in the right direction," said Leake, whose ERA dropped from 6.65 to 5.97. "Even though I had four walks, I was still happy with the way I threw the ball. I had a couple more mistakes than what showed, but they made me pay for two of them."
Neil Walker hit a two-run homer for the Pirates and Alex Presley added a solo shot to back James McDonald (2-1), who struck out seven in 6 1-3 innings to extend his strong start. Joel Hanrahan worked a perfect ninth for his fif...