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CIN@ARI: Rolen knocks in Phillips with a single

Officially, it will be Arizona starter Joe Saunders and his team that should have the home-field advantage when they step on the field for Sunday's series finale against the Reds.

But don't be surprised if Reds starter Mike Leake looks comfortable on the mound, too.

Leake, who starred at Arizona State University, not far from Chase Field, will probably also feel at home. And he'll have some momentum on his side.

In his last outing, Leake gave up two runs on three hits in six innings in an 8-2 victory against the Astros. He struck out four batters in the 94-pitch outing.

"You always like pitching with a lead," said Leake, who was the eighth overall selection by the Reds in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. "Sometimes it makes you let down a little bit, but I made sure I wasn't going to do that."

The key to Leake's success against the Astros was the effective use of his cut-fastball and slider. His sinker, which he was overthrowing at 92-93 mph during Spring Training, has improved and returned as a weapon. Expect a similar approach against the D-backs in hitter-friendly Chase Field.

Leake's luck might also be a factor Sunday. Last season, the Reds were 12-10 in his 22 starts. Six of those losses were by two runs or less. Six losses came in the opponent's last at-bat.

As for Saunders, he suffered through a miserable spring beset by the flu and ineffectiveness. He finished exhibitions 1-3 with a 12.46 ERA. However, the veteran bounced back in is first regular-season start, against the Cubs on Monday, giving up two runs over six innings.

"His sinker was working, he kept the ball down, he worked fast, he worked ahead and he kept us in the ballgame," D-backs catcher Miguel Montero said.

Reds: Hot hitting keying fast start
The Reds are streaking. Scott Rolen has hit safely in seven consecutive games and is hitting .292 during that stretch. Paul Janish has hit safely in each of his six games, hitting .423.

• Johnny Cueto (right biceps/triceps) and Homer Bailey (right shoulder) continue their rehab and are scheduled to pitch at the club's player development complex in Goodyear, Ariz., next week. Cueto will throw 35-40 pitches on Monday, while Bailey is scheduled to throw 45-50 pitches on Tuesday.

• The Reds are 49-42 all-time against the D-backs, and 19-8 in the last five seasons.

D-backs: Montero joining elite Arizona company
Miguel Montero is riding a seven-game hitting streak and is hitting .500 on the season. The streak is the club's third longest streak to open a season. Luis Gonzalez hit safely in eight games to start the 2005 season, while Danny Bautista and Steve Finley hit safely in 10 games to start the season in 2002 and 2000, respectively.

• The D-backs tied a franchise record with three errors in the ninth inning Saturday. It was the 12th time in franchise history that the club committed three errors in one inning.

• Don't be surprised to see catcher Henry Blanco make his first start of the season in Sunday's series finale.

Worth noting
• The D-backs have the toughest schedule in the Major Leagues to start the season, facing teams with a .500 or better record last season in 27 of their first 37 games. Their first 24 games include 12 games against NL division champions (Reds, Giants, Phillies).

• Reds manager Dusty Baker is one win shy of becoming the 11th manager in Major League Baseball history with at least 250 wins for three different teams (Cubs, Giants).

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