Leake beats Braves with cutter, homer

Ask the Atlanta Braves whether Mike Leake's arm or bat did more damage to their hopes of winning on Monday night, and they might hesitate to answer.

We'll detail his arm below. What Leake will likely remember the most is that, in his 117th career at-bat, he hit his first major league home run. It was his first RBI this season, though his .333 batting average suggests there might be more on the way.

Mike Leake


On the mound, here's how Leake beat the Braves:

• Leake threw a lot more cutters than he has in most of his starts this year, using the pitch 28 times, getting eight outs and allowing no hits. Leake has only used his cutter more in one start this year. Leake only has 27 strikeouts in 2012, but most of them have come with his cutter (7).

• Leake was efficient, throwing just two pitches in three-ball counts. Leake had thrown 31 pitches in three-ball counts in his previous three starts combined.

• Leake was in the zone all night, throwing 48 pitches in the zone, but surrendering just one hit on a pitch in the zone. Leake also had three strikeouts on pitches in the zone, his most in a start since August 10, 2011.

Elsewhere around MLB:

The Red Sox sent three outfielders onto the field vs the Orioles on Monday who began the season in places other than Boston. Daniel Nava and Che-Hsuan Lin started the season in Pawtucket, and Marlon Byrd was with the Cubs. Of course, each had at least one hit and one run scored in the Red Sox two-run win.

The injury bug finally bit the Texas Rangers, but it had held off for quite a while. With Neftali Feliz being placed on the DL, it's the first move the Rangers have made to their 25-man opening day roster this season. They were the last team to make a move to an opening-day roster. According to the release from the team, it's also the latest date the Rangers had ever gone in a season before making their first roster move.

It had been almost 13 years since the Kansas City Royals shut out the New York Yankees in New York. The last time it happened was August 18, 1999 in a game where Carlos Beltran started in center field for the Royals and Paul O'Neill started in right for the Yankees.

Tyler Greene's game-winning HR for the St. Louis Cardinals came off a 100.5 MPH fastball from Andrew Cashner. That's the fastest pitch anyone has homered on since 2009.