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CIN@TEX: Leake goes seven solid innings vs. Rangers

Cincinnati's Mike Leake hadn't planned on facing the Mariners this weekend. But after Thursday's game against the Giants was rained out, Leake will have to prepare to face a team from an entirely different league.

More importantly, the seventh rainout in Great American Ball Park's 11-year history throws off the Reds' rotation and means the game will have to be made up, perhaps after the last day of the season.

Leake has been almost unhittable lately for the Reds, posting a 1.31 ERA in his past nine starts. The 25-year-old threw at least six innings and allowed one earned run or less in seven of those outings.

Leake will get a chance to show the Mariners what a National League pitcher looks like at the plate -- his 50 hits over the past four seasons are tied for the MLB lead for a pitcher with the Brewers' Yovani Gallardo.

For Seattle, veteran right-hander Aaron Harang, who pitched for the Reds from 2003-10, will make his first start at Great American Ball Park since leaving Cincinnati.

Harang beat the Reds, 4-1, last year on July 4 with the Dodgers, allowing just three hits and a run in seven innings, but that game was in Los Angeles.

"I had lunch with some of my neighbors, see friends, see all the security guys on the field, the clubhouse guys," said Harang, who has made the trip back to Cincinnati the past two seasons, but never got to pitch. "You see a lot of people around Cincinnati. I spent so much of my time there it was like a second home for me. It's always fun to go back."

So, does Harang expect a nice reception from the fans in Cincinnati, where he was the Opening Day starter for five straight years from 2006-10?

"We'll see," he said with a smile. "Maybe early on, but we'll see the outcome of the game. It might be a different story."

"I like Harang," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. "Harang was a big part of us rebuilding this. I'm sure people will like seeing him. We haven't seen him in a while."

Harang is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA against his former team in two previous starts. While he is 3-7 with a 5.08 ERA in 13 starts this season, Harang is coming off a no-decision against the Cubs in which he gave up only three runs on five hits in eight innings.

Mariners: Morse off the DL soon
• Outfielder Michael Morse will be eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Friday, although he will likely need to rehab in Triple-A Tacoma, according to manager Eric Wedge.

Morse struggled with a strained quad throughout June before the Mariners placed him on the DL.

• Outfielder Michael Saunders, who hasn't started since last Friday after getting spiked in the middle finger of his right hand while diving back to the bag against the Cubs, should be back in the lineup Friday.

Reds: Ludwick could be back soon
• Although the Reds will likely be without Ryan Ludwick until August, the injured outfielder says his recovery from a torn labrum in his right shoulder is going quickly.

Ludwick said that he feels no effort in his shoulder while swinging the bat and that he hopes to be able to start a rehab assignment in the Minors soon.

• Finding a day to reschedule Thursday's rainout could be tricky for the Reds. It will likely have to come after the last day of the season, Sept. 30, since the only other available date for the two teams is Aug. 29.

As the only day off breaking up a stretch of 33 straight games for both teams, that date isn't ideal.

Worth noting
• Seattle has feasted on opposing bullpens this season, while struggling to get anything off starting pitchers. The Mariners have hit 34 home runs in the seventh inning or later, the second-best mark in the AL (Baltimore, 35).

• Cincinnati is 1-8 all-time against Seattle, marking the club's worst winning percentage against any team.

• Hitters on the current Reds roster are batting a combined .157 against Harang, including an 0-for-17 mark for Cesar Izturis.

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