CINCINNATI (AP) - Brandon Phillips hit his first home run in August, Mike Leake pitched effectively into the seventh inning and the Cincinnati Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 8-2 on Saturday to strengthen their hold on the top spot in the NL Central.
Phillips and Ryan Ludwick had three hits apiece and Jay Bruce added a two-run homer as Cincinnati regained a seven-game lead over second-place St. Louis, which rallied to win the series opener 8-5 on Friday night.
Leake (6-8) allowed at least one hit in every inning except one, but kept the Cardinals mostly at bay. Leake, who also had two hits, lasted 6 2-3 innings, allowing 10 hits and two runs.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)