CHICAGO (AP) - Mike Leake's first career shutout appeared to be just a matter of time until a relative unknown took everyone by surprise.
Pinch-hitter Bryan LaHair belted a tying two-run homer off Leake with two out in the ninth inning, but Joey Votto hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the 13th to lift the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.
Leake was working on a one-hitter when Starlin Castro reached on a two-out single and LaHair drove a 2-0 pitch over the wall in right for his first homer since Sept. 20, 2008, for the Seattle Mariners.
``It was an incredible moment,' LaHair said. ``It's always fun when you can do something like that and the team really appreciates it and they're really happy for you, that's a good feeling.'
Leake bent over on the front of the mound as LaHair rounded the bases with the tying shot, but the Reds eventually recovered for their third win in nine games.
``He was sharp,' Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ``If they took a pitch, it was strike one. If they swung at it, it wasn't a good pitch to hit. We all had visions of his first complete-game shutout, and he was one out away from that. That's why it's such a deflator.
``When that ball went up in the air, who knows how far that ball would have gone had it not been for the wind blowing in? That ball was crushed.'
LaHair was one of the Cubs' September callups after a successful season in Triple-A Iowa. He was leading the minors with 38 home runs and was batting .331 with 109 RBIs when he was promoted Friday. It was his fourth career homer in the majors.
``I was paying attention on the bench it looked like he was going to continue to pitch and I was picking some of the guys' brains and just trying to watch the video and gauge in on a good pitch and put a good swing on it,' LaHair said.
Dave Sappelt hit a leadoff double against John Grabow (3-1) in the 13th inning and Votto followed with his second run-scoring double of the game. Miguel Cairo added a two-out RBI single to make it 4-2.
Aroldis Chapman (4-1) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the victory and Francisco Cordero got three outs for his 321st career save, tying Jose Mesa for the most by pitcher from the Dominican Republic. It was his 31st save on the season.
The Reds caught a break in the 12th when leadoff hitter Tony Campana hit a grounder to first and was called out on a close play. Replays indicated Campana beat Votto to the bag.
Campana argued with umpire Tim Welke at first before Cubs manager Mike Quade came out and had an animated argument, then headed back to the dugout.
``It was a big part of the game,' Campana said. ``I got a little riled up. Going down I think I have the best view at it so I knew I beat it and he did even get there first.'
Leake, the eighth overall pick in the 2009 draft, retired 14 consecutive batters before Darwin Barney reached on catcher's interference in the seventh. The 23-year-old right-hander then got Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena to fly out to end the inning.
Leake struck out six and walked none in a career-high nine innings. He needed only 65 pitches to get through seven innings and finished with 91 overall.
``It's the best I've thrown since college, really,' Leake said. ``We just went after guys and it's nice to go out there and only throw 91 pitches over nine innings. You can't really do much better than that.'
Cubs starter Rodrigo Lopez allowed two runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings.
The Reds finally got to Lopez in the sixth inning. Sappelt led off with a single and scored from first on Votto's double to right, ending a season-high 0-for-14 slide for the reigning NL MVP.
Votto scored on Devin Mesoraco's double play ball to give the Reds a 2-0 lead.
NOTES: The Cubs recalled LHP John Gaub, INF DJ LeMahieu and OF Lou Montanez from Triple-A Iowa. ... Cubs RHP Ryan Dempster will try to avoid losing his fourth straight start on Wednesday. ... Reds RHP Johnny Cueto is Wednesday's scheduled starter for the Reds. He leads the majors with a 2.29 ERA. ... Reds OF Drew Stubbs came in the game as a pinch runner in the ninth.
The Associated Press News Service
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