Mike Leake avoids arbitration with Reds

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Cincinnati and Mike Leake have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.06 million contract.

Leake was arbitration eligible for the first time after throwing 179 innings with a 4.58 ERA and 116/41 K/BB ratio last season and requested $3.5 million while the Reds countered at $2.65 million.

Leake was the eighth overall pick in the 2009 draft and arrived with a lot of hype in 2010, but through 485 career innings he has a 4.23 ERA and just 6.0 strikeouts per nine frames. He’s also still just 25 years old, but Leake is a year away from getting expensive and two years away from free agency.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.