Cueto, Reds top Chisox
CHICAGO (AP) — Johnny Cueto’s longest start of the season came at a perfect time for the Cincinnati Reds.
Cueto pitched into the ninth inning in the opener of a traditional doubleheader, leading the Reds to a 10-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
“(I) felt great,” Cueto said through a translator. “(I) felt good all the way until the last part.”
Cueto (3-3) was working on a four-hitter before he was pulled with one out in Chicago’s three-run ninth. J.J. Hoover finished for Cincinnati, which has won three of four.
Cueto allowed six hits, struck out seven and walked two, bouncing back from a loss at Atlanta last Sunday. The right-hander was charged with five runs and nine hits in six innings against the Braves after lasting at least seven innings in his first five starts of the year.
“The past is past. Whatever happened before this outing was good,” said Cueto, who threw 123 pitches. “You cannot bring it into the new game.”
Marlon Byrd hit a three-homer in Cincinnati’s seven-run ninth as the Reds improved to 4-14 against Chicago with their first road win against the White Sox since a 7-5 victory on June 25, 1998. The participants in the 1919 World Series hadn’t played each other since the White Sox got two wins in a three-game set in June 2009.
Cueto’s long outing sent Cincinnati into the second game with a fresh bullpen.
“He didn’t pitch real well in the ninth inning, but he’s that guy that comes out of so many close games that when you get a chance to give him an opportunity to complete a game I like to do that,” manager Bryan Price said.
The White Sox lost right-hander Hector Noesi to a bruised lower back in the second inning of the makeup game for Friday night’s rainout. Noesi was hit by a two-out comebacker off the bat of Billy Hamilton and departed after trying a couple of warmup pitches.
“It got him in a good spot, I guess,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It tightened up on him. At this point it’s just day to day.”
Alexei Ramirez hit career homer No. 100 in the seventh for the White Sox, and Jose Abreu connected for a 441-foot drive in the ninth.
Playing without 2010 NL MVP Joey Votto, who served a one-game suspension for making contact with an umpire, the Reds jumped in front with two runs in the sixth against Scott Carroll (0-1) in the sixth. Zack Cozart drove in a run with a fielder’s choice and Skip Schumaker added a two-out RBI double.
Hamilton’s 15th steal helped set up Jay Bruce’s run-scoring grounder in the seventh, and Byrd had the big blow in the ninth. He has homered in four of his last five games.
Carroll was charged with three runs, two earned, and five hits over 4 2-3 innings in relief of Noesi.
“We were all just watching it from the bullpen and I saw Hector, as soon as he got hit I started warming up and stuff,” Carroll said. “A few minutes went by and they said he wasn’t gonna go. … It was the first time I’ve had to do that.”
White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson was ejected by plate umpire John Hirschbeck after Tyler Flowers and Micah Johnson each took a called third strike in the second inning. It was the first career ejection for Steverson.
RHPs Pedro Villarreal of the Reds and Chris Beck of the White Sox will be promoted from the minors to serve as the 26th player for their respective clubs for the second game of the doubleheader. Villarreal pitched two scoreless innings against the Cubs on April 15 in his only appearance of the year with Cincinnati. Beck is looking for his major league debut.
Reds: Cozart returned to the lineup after missing three games with left wrist and right hand injuries.
White Sox: Abreu was shaken up after he fouled a ball off his lower left leg in the first, but stayed in the game.
White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon (0-0, 2.84 ERA) and Reds RHP Jason Marquis (3-1, 5.22 ERA) face off in the second game. Rodon is making his first major league start, and Marquis is 3-0 with a 4.66 ERA in his last three outings.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap
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