Cueto whiffs career-high 12, blanks Bucs on three hits
April 16, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
REDS BASEBALL RELEASE
CINCINNATI -- Compared to their previous three games, the Reds remained frugal with their run support for Johnny Cueto. But relative to what they've provided Cueto during his previous three starts, it was an embarrassment of riches.
Wednesday afternoon's 4-0 win over the Pirates not only gave Cueto a deserved victory with a three-hit shutout at Great American Ball Park, it gave the Reds their first series win in five tries. Cincinnati is 6-9 after winning three of its last four games.
Cueto struck out a career-high 12 and didn't issue a walk. It was the fourth time in his career he has struck out at least 10. He now has three career shuouts and seven complete games.
Before Wednesday, the Reds had scored one run over Cueto's 21 innings on the mound while he had allowed only five earned runs. In the previous three games, the team scored 26 runs after having only 28 over the first 10 games.
Combining Billy Hamilton's speed with Pirates starter Francisco Liriano's wildness enabled the Reds to score an important first-inning run. Liriano walked Hamilton, who then got a fantastic jump to steal second base. A wild pitch to Joey Votto moved Hamilton to third base. After Votto walked, a second wild pitch to Brandon Phillips let Hamilton score without a play at the plate.
Liriano settled in and kept the Reds in check much of the afternoon after the first inning. In the bottom of the seventh after Cueto hit a one-out single, Votto later hit a two-out, two-run homer to right-center field to make it a three-run game.
It was Votto's fourth homer over the last five games.