Cueto, Reds blank Cubs

Published 3:08 am Monday, March 7, 2011

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Johnny Cueto is pitching as if it were 2010.

Cueto pitched three scoreless innings and World Series MVP Edgar Renteria got two hits as the Cincinnati Reds beat a Chicago Cubs split squad 10-0 Sunday.

Cueto, who signed a $27 million, four-year contract in the offseason, allowed one hit and one walk.

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“I was working harder last year because I knew it was my last year before I had to talk about money. You guys saw the results,” Cueto said. “My mental approach is I’m thinking I haven’t done anything yet. I’m thinking like I don’t have a contract.”

Renteria, a shortstop last year when he helped San Francisco win the championship, signed with the Reds before spring training and started at second base. He scored twice.

Paul Janish, expected to start for the Reds at shortstop, also had two hits and Zack Cozart homered. Chris Heisey and Juan Francisco drove in two runs for Cincinnati.

“We got good pitching again, no errors and timely hitting,” Dusty Baker said. “Renteria looked good, Janie (Janish) looked good in the second spot. We had a couple nice hit-and-runs. Cueto looked real good.”

The Cubs managed just two hits, one an infield hit off Cueto and a ninth inning single by Starlin Castro. The Cubs were hitting .301 as a team starting the day.

Todd Wellemeyer and Casey Coleman are competing for an open spot in the Cubs rotation. Wellemeyer allowed a run on three hits in two innings. Coleman allowed three runs on four hits in two innings.

“The first inning I was rushing a little,” Wellemeyer said. “I felt better but threw too many pitches in the first inning to go three. … I’d rather start because long relief pitchers don’t see enough action.”

Said Coleman: “My goal in spring training was to throw strikes. I pounded the zone pretty good but their guys are pretty good hitters. They kept their hands inside the ball and hit singles. You can live with singles all day.”