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Mike Leake razzed for shoplift arrest, gets win

A fan holds a sign asking Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake to steal a win during a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Thursday, April 21, 2011 in Cincinnati. AP Photo/Al Behrman

(CBS/AP) When you're a major league pitcher who makes almost half a million dollars and you're accused of pilfering 60 bucks worth of shirts from Macy's, you're bound to get heckled the next time you take the mound.

Lucky for Mike Leake, he pitches in quaint Cincinnati and not the hostile confines of New York or Philadelphia.

Leake got razzed by a few fans during his first appearance since his shoplifting arrest, but ignored the nasty signs and gave the Cincinnati Reds a much-needed boost Thursday, going seven innings for a 7-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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On Monday, the 23-year-old starter was booked at the Hamilton County Justice Center on a first-degree misdemeanor charge of shoplifting. It carries a maximum of 180 days in jail.

Police arrest reports said Leake removed the price tags from six American Rag shirts at a Macy's store and tried to leave without paying for them. Leake makes $425,000 in his second season in the majors.

At a court hearing the next day, his lawyer asked that the case be moved into a diversion program for first-time offenders. In a statement, Leake apologized to fans and the team "for this distraction."

Manager Dusty Baker considered skipping his turn in the rotation, but decided Leake wouldn't let the arrest distract from his pitching preparations. Baker also considered the reaction he'd get from fans.

A few had fun at his expense

Leake got a typical round of applause when he came to bat for the first time and grounded into a double play that ended the first inning. One fan in the left field stands held up a sign that said, "Mike Leake We Gave You The Bunt Sign Not The Steal Sign!" Another sign said, "Steal Us A Win Leake."

Two fans sitting 10 rows behind the home dugout wore Bengals helmets - the NFL team had a series of player arrests a few years back.

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