One pitch — the first he threw to Jay Bruce — was the only one that caused any anguish to David Phelps.
As it turned out, it pained the Marlins even more.
Bruce’s upper deck home run off Phelps in the second inning on Friday proved to be the only non-zero number either team put on the board as the Reds, behind pitcher Mike Leake, shut out the Marlins, 1-0.
It was the first 1-0 loss for the Marlins since being no-hit by the Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann on the final day of last season.
“That was a tremendous pitcher’s duel,” said Marlins manager Dan Jennings. “[Phelps] just made one bad pitch. Other than that, he pitched great.”
Leake was just a tiny bit better.
It’s the second time in a month that Leake has held the Marlins scoreless. The Reds right-hander held them to two hits over seven innings in Cincinnati last month. He held them to three hits over eight innings on Friday at Marlins Park.
“Phelps pitched great, but we didn’t do much to help him out,” said Marlins All-Star Dee Gordon.
Gordon struck out three times, as did Justin Bour and Michael Morse, although Reds flamethrower Aroldis Chapman was responsible for two whiffs against that trio after he took over in the ninth.
Leake took a no-hitter into the fifth before Derek Dietrich broke it up with his one-out single. Other than that, the only other hits given up by Leake were to pinch-hitters Ichiro Suzuki (a single in the sixth) and Casey McGehee (double in the eighth).
Jennings said the movement on Leake’s pitches made it tough on Marlins hitters.
“He cuts the fastball,” Jennings said. “It looks like a fastball that has that late life at the plate, and he’s tough to square up. He’s had some success against us over time.”
Leake is now 5-1 with a 1.33 ERA in his six-start career against the Marlins.
While the Reds evened the series, they won’t have a chance to face former teammate Mat Latos in the third game of the set on Saturday.
Latos was scratched from the start due to a bruised right foot.
Jennings said Latos was injured in Thursday’s game when Christian Yelich fouled off a pitch that struck the netting in front of the Marlins dugout. Latos’ foot was poking out the front of the netting when the ball struck it.
As a result, the Marlins are calling up left-handed rookie Adam Conley for what will be his first big-league start. Conley was up earlier in the season, making one relief appearance.
With New Orleans this season, he has gone 8-2 with a 2.33 ERA.
Latos won’t go on the disabled list. Instead, the Marlins designated Jordany Valdespin for assignment to make room for Conley.
The scratch is sure to the throng of scouts who were expected to attend the game just to see Latos. The Marlins are actively shopping the pitcher, and Latos is certain to attract interest in advance of the July 31 trading deadline.