It seems the Reds (6-9) have found their groove. Johnny Cueto tossed a complete game and the Reds won their first series of the season after shutting out the Pirates 4-0 Wednesday. Cueto was near perfect in his first win of the season striking out 12, allowing three hits, and no walks in nine innings.
"I think he understands that going into we're 5-9 and hadn't won a series," said Bryan Price. "It's a team that we'll competing against all year for the division. And, it doesn't matter if it's April or September. We need to win games."
For the first time in Cueto's four starts, he had a little help at the plate. With the Reds clinging to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh, Joey Votto pounded a two-run homer to give the Reds a 3-0 cushion. It was Votto's fourth homer of the season, and third since transitioning into the second spot in the batting order.
"He's good no matter where we put him, and so far it's worked," said Chris Heisey. "I don't think he's taking a lot of stock in where he's hitting in the lineup. He's the best hitter we've got, and he's playing like it right now."
With Jay Bruce riding the bench for the first time this season, Heisey filled in well going 1-for-3 with a run scored on a Brayan Pena double in the eighth inning that sealed the 4-0 victory for the Reds.
"We put some pressure on [Franscisco] Liriano. We're doing some good things offensively. It's good to see us turn things around," said Price.
The complete game shutout by Cueto is just the 12th by a Reds pitcher in Great American Ballpark history. It's the fourth time in Cueto's career he's struck out ten or more (12 today). The Reds get Thursday off before taking on the Cubs Friday at Wrigley Field. Alfredo Simon (1-1, 1.20 ERA) faces off agianst Jeff Samardzija (0-1) with the first pitch at 2:20 EST.
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