Reds skipping Mike Leake’s turn in rotation to keep Johnny Cueto on normal rest

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Mike Leake has mostly struggled since throwing a one-run complete game against the Mets on August 15, allowing 24 runs and nine homers in 32 innings, and the Reds have announced plans to skip his next turn in the rotation.

Leake was slated to pitch Tuesday, but instead Johnny Cueto make that start against the Brewers on what will still be normal rest thanks to today’s open date on the schedule. Barring another change of plans Leake will then re-enter the rotation Saturday versus the Pirates.

That means the pitching matchups for the Cincinnati-Milwaukee series will be Cueto vs. Mike Fiers on Tuesday, Bronso Arroyo vs. Shaun Marcum on Wednesday, and Mat Latos vs. Wily Peralta on Thursday.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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