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CIN@BOS: Leake limits Red Sox to two runs, fans four

Tuesday's pitching matchup features two starters who probably should have a few more wins than they do at this point in the season.

Reds righty Mike Leake is just 2-3, but he has a respectable ERA of 3.40. And, he has been the victim of blown saves and bad luck, both in a 6-5 loss at Pittsburgh, where Leake allowed four runs over seven innings, and a 2-0 loss against the Brewers, when he allowed two runs over eight innings but was topped by Wily Peralta, who did not allow any.

Run support has been an issue. The Reds have scored a combined four runs in Leake's past three starts, during which time Leake has compiled a 3.27 ERA.

"He has been pitching into the seventh or eighth inning darn near every game and doing the things he knows will make him successful," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He is extremely aggressive. He holds himself accountable for what transpires. I am extremely happy with the way he is throwing the ball and competing."

In three career starts vs. San Diego, Leake is 0-1 with a 3.45 ERA.

For the Padres, Andrew Cashner has turned in a sterling 2.86 ERA but has just a 2-5 record. He has allowed two or fewer runs in five of seven starts this year but has a four-game losing streak that began April 21 when he allowed four runs over six innings in a losing effort to the Brewers.

Tuesday's will be Cashner's eighth career appearance and second career start against the Reds. He owns an 0-1 record and 4.50 ERA with five walks and eight strikeouts.

He made his only career start versus Cincinnati on Aug. 9 of last season at Great American Ball Park, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits over five innings.

Dating back to last Aug. 14, Cashner has turned in 12 quality starts in his past 15 outings, pitching to a 4-8 record with a 2.03 ERA with 86 strikeouts against 23 walks in that time.

Padres: Offense heating up
The Padres have been in a nice offensive streak, scoring 24 runs over three games heading into Tuesday's contest. Only the Astros had fewer runs scored entering play Sunday (111 runs for Padres, 110 for Astros).

Also, over their four-game series with Miami, San Diego pitchers set a franchise record for strikeouts in a series.

Reds: Surging in standings
If the old adage is true and it is really not about how you start, but how you finish, the Reds may be on to something.

They have won 14 of their past 25 games for a .560 winning percentage since starting at a 3-8 clip. They are 5-4 in May and have won nine of their past 11 games at home. Overall, they are 11-8 at Great American Ball Park and are now 5-3-1 in their past eight series.

As the Reds have heated up, so has third baseman Todd Frazier. He extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games Sunday and has hit safely in 16 of his past 18. He also leads the team with seven home runs and 21 RBIs.

Worth noting
• Carlos Quentin may join the Padres, depending on how his scheduled rehab game went on Sunday. Quentin has missed the season so far with a bone bruise on his left knee.

• Leake has 60 hits since his 2010 debut, most of any pitcher in that span, and has led National League pitchers in batting average twice in the last four years. Hit a double and home run April 15 vs. Pittsburgh.

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