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MIA@CIN: Leake whiffs seven over seven strong innings

Wednesday's game between the Red Sox and Reds was supposed to feature Brandon Workman and Homer Bailey on the rubber. But because of Workman's struggles for Boston and Bailey's sore neck and elbow, it won't.

Instead, Mike Leake will get the ball for Cincinnati and Anthony Ranaudo will go for the Sox in a matinee at Great American Ballpark. With an off-day Monday, Reds manager Bryan Price had the chance to give his starters an extra day of rest, but he wanted to be cautious with Bailey, who will now start Saturday in Colorado.

Leake allowed two runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out four in a no-decision against Boston on May 7. The Reds lost, 4-3. On the season, Leake has a 3.42 ERA -- second best of his career -- 1.23 WHIP and 3.41 K/BB ratio.

The 5-foot-10 righty is 2-1 with a 1.31 ERA over his last three starts. He allowed two runs on five hits while walking four and fanning seven against the Marlins on Friday. But Miami prevailed, 2-1, despite Leake's performance.

"I was just trying to keep the ball down and minimize the damage," Leake said. "They got some guys on base, but I was able to minimize them crossing the plate."

Ranaudo will get Workman's turn in the rotation, because the righty has struggled as of late. Manager John Farrell said he expects Workman to miss just one turn for some extra rest.

Ranaudo picked up his first win in his Major League debut on Aug. 1 against the Yankees, the team he grew up supporting. The 24-year-old allowed two runs on four hits and four walks over six innings. Wednesday will be his second career outing in the big leagues.

"I think pitching against the Yankees on a Friday night at Fenway allows me to take a deep breath and say I've done that," said Ranaudo, who is the sixth-ranked prospect in Boston's farm system. "Not that this game isn't very important to me, it's just that having that first one out of the way and the significance behind that first game is nice. I feel a lot more prepared now going out there and a lot more confident that I can just focus on the game and focus on pitch-to-pitch adjustments and executing pitches."

The former LSU hurler has been stellar for Triple-A Pawtucket this season, posting a 2.58 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and .215 batting average against.

Red Sox: Cespedes will likely stay in left field this season
Since Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig are already transitioning to a new team, Farrell will let the outfielders stay in the positions they're more comfortable with for now. Boston's skipper originally said he wanted to switch their spots.

Because of the short left field at Fenway Park, it makes more sense to have Cespedes play right because of his arm strength. According to Fangraphs, he prevents runners from scoring or taking extra bases at the second best rate in the league, behind only Kansas City's Alex Gordon. Jackie Bradley Jr. is fourth in the Majors.

The transition for Craig, who is currently on the disabled list, and Cespedes could instead take place during Spring Training next year.

"We could make a switch right now or we could take the full advantage in Spring Training in a ballpark that's got the exact dimensions [of Fenway] where there's less of an emphasis than there would be in season," Farrell said. "So we've got the ability to stay as we are for now."

Reds: Phillips takes on-field batting practice
The Reds' offense could use some life, and the club hopes Brandon Phillips can return soon and give it just that.

The second baseman took batting practice on the field Tuesday for the first time undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb on July 11. He's also taken ground balls without any problems. Phillips is expected to go on a rehab assignment before returning to the Reds.

"I think he's been swinging the bat pain free, even with the vibration," Price said.

Phillips is hitting .272/.308/.392 this season with seven homers and 40 RBIs, but has averaged 22 homers and 90 RBIs per 162 games during the last eight seasons.

Worth noting
• Reds reliever Logan Ondrusek threw a 34-pitch simulated game Tuesday. The righty hasn't pitched since July 13 and hit the disabled list on July 22 with a strained right shoulder, but he could rejoin the club this weekend.

• The Red Sox optioned Edwin Escobar to bring up Ranaudo for Tuesday's start. Escobar, who Boston acquired from San Francisco in a deal for Jake Peavy, will start for Triple-A Pawtucket in place of Ranaudo.

• Amidst an 0-for-35 slump, Bradley sat again Tuesday. He hasn't started in four of the team's seven games on its current road trip, but as of now, the club doesn't plan on sending him to Pawtucket.

• Reds prospect Amir Garrett ended his college basketball career and will be focusing solely on baseball. The lefty, Cincinnati's 18th-best prospect according to MLB.com, transferred from St. Johns to Cal State Northridge for basketball, but he has decided to focus solely on baseball. He's currently with Class A Dayton.

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