Cueto helps make Reds feel better
CINCINNATI (AP) — Johnny Cueto felt good. He knew that many of his teammates — including Joey Votto — couldn’t say the same.
Only one thing for him to do.
The right-hander pitched his second complete game of the season on Tuesday night, allowing only one runner to reach second base, as the sickly Cincinnati Reds beat the Cleveland Indians 7-1 in the opener of their intrastate series.
Cueto (7-3) saw several of his teammates getting fluids intravenously before the game as a stomach ailment went around the clubhouse. Votto skipped batting practice, but hit a two-run homer and an RBI single.
“Right before the game, I saw all those IVs hanging around and I’m like, ‘What’s going on?”’ Cueto said. “I knew we didn’t have a bench, so I told myself, ‘Tonight. I’ve got to go all the way.”’
Cueto allowed only one runner to reach second base, and that was in the first inning when Jason Kipnis had an RBI single. He gave up six hits, fanned seven and threw 122 pitches in the sixth complete game of his career.
Manager Dusty Baker came to the mound after Carlos Santana hit an infield single with two outs in the ninth, wondering if Cueto needed to call it a night. The crowd of 24,758 cheered loudly when Baker let him stay in the game despite the high pitch count.
“He said, ‘Give me one more batter,”’ Baker said.
Cueto got Michael Brantley on a grounder to end a draining day for the Reds. Rookie shortstop Zack Cozart was out of the lineup because of the illness, and others were struggling just to stay on the field.
“I wasn’t feeling too good, though I wasn’t as bad as some of the other guys,” outfielder Chris Heisey said. “It was an interesting day.”
Votto’s homer in the seventh off left-hander Tony Sipp made it 57 straight games with at least one home run at Great American Ball Park, the longest active streak in the majors. Votto added an RBI single as the Reds pulled away in the eighth.
Jay Bruce hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the fifth off Jeanmar Gomez (4-5).
The Reds won for only the second time in the last eight games of the interleague series. Cleveland won five of the six last season.
Brantley extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a seventh-inning single off Cueto. It’s the longest current streak and one game shy of matching the longest in the majors this season. Cleveland’s Asdrubal Cabrera went 0 for 4, ending his hitting streak at 12 games.
Gomez gave up six hits and two runs — one unearned — in five innings. He also had his first major league hit, a single in the fifth inning.
Shin-Soo Choo opened the game with a double and scored on Kipnis’ single. Choo was the only Indians runner to reach second.
“He just pretty much toyed with us after that first inning,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “He’s one of the best pitchers in the National League. We ran into him on a tough night.”
The Reds tied it in the third when Cueto singled, advanced on a wild pitch and Wilson Valdez’s single, and came home when Santana threw wildly to first base on a pickoff attempt.
The Reds loaded the bases with one out in the fifth on a pair of singles around an intentional walk to Votto. Bruce’s sacrifice fly to center made it 2-1.
Votto’s 11th homer made it 4-1 in the seventh, and Cincinnati scored three more in the eighth off Jeremy Accardo.
NOTES: Cleveland leads the interstate series 39-37. … The Indians are 3-4 in interleague play, the Reds 4-3. .. The Indians acquired RHP Esmil Rogers from the Colorado Rockies for cash. Rogers went 0-2 with an 8.06 ERA in 23 appearances for Colorado. The Indians also designated 31-year-old C Luke Carlin for assignment. … Indians INF Jack Hannahan, on the DL since May 27 with a strained left calf, was expected to play six innings at 3B for Class A Lake County, then take a day off as part of a rehab assignment. … Mike Leake (2-5) tries for his third straight win in the second game of the series on Wednesday. Cleveland’s Derek Lowe (7-4) is 3-3 with a 4.57 ERA in seven career starts against the Reds.