The Reds wasted another strong outing from Johnny Cueto and lost the series opening game to Tampa Bay, 2-1, despite a near comeback in the 9th inning.
Tampa starter David Price held the Reds scoreless through 8 innings, but was chased after Joey Votto hit his first home run of the season in the 9th inning to pull the Reds within 2-1. Tampa's closer, Grant Balfour, loaded the bases with two outs, but struck out pinch-hitter Brayan Pena to end the game and preserve Tampa's win.
Cueto pitched 7 innings and only allowed two earned runs and is winless this season despite allowing two earned runs or less in every start this season.
The loss drops the Reds 3-7 on the season and 5 games behind first place Milwaukee in the NL Central after just 10 games.
Alfredo Simon will start for the Reds on Saturday because Mat Latos still isn't yet ready to rejoin the rotation. Latos, who hasn't pitched this season, said he felt tightness in his pitching arm during a bullpen session before Friday's game. The Reds will give him more treatment before he tries to throw again.
Aroldis Chapman also met with the media before Friday's game and said he will throw on a mound on Monday for the first time since he was hit by a line drive in Arizona. Chapman did work out with his teammates in the outfield and is throwing on the ground. Pitching from the mound would be the next step in his rehab.
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