Johnny Cueto can't catch a break. In his sixth start of the season, Cueto was once again lights out, but the Reds couldn't flip the switch at the plate.
The Braves (17-7) swept the Reds (11-14) on Sunday with a tenth inning walkoff single by Freddie Freeman, winning 1-0. J.J. Hoover is credited with the loss, giving up two hits in the bottom of the tenth, which led to Freeman's game-winning base hit to deep right off Manny Parra.
There was drama early in Atlanta. Bryan Price challenged a pickoff play in the first inning when Atlanta's Justin Upton was called safe on a throw from Johnny Cueto. The replay showed Joey Votto's glove clearly tagging Upton before he reached first base, meaning Upton would be out. Price challenged the call, but after review, first-base umpire Greg Gibson said the play would stand with Upton safe. Price was ejected by crew chief Bill Miller after questioning the call. Homer Bailey was also ejected for his comments from the dugout.
"You have the biggest Jumbotron in the country which strongly suggests [Upton] is out," said Reds Manager Bryan Price. "It seems to contradict what everyone in the ballpark thought was an out. There's no debate. There's nothing Bill Miller or Greg Gibson can do there. The only thing unusual is that it strongly appeared to everyone that the runner was out."
In the entire 2013 season, the Reds didn't have a single player or manager thrown out of a game. With Price and Bailey tossed Sunday, that's now two in 2014.
"We're not just going to bend over. The play was right there in front of us," added Price after the loss. "We're not just going to take this. This isn't okay. It seemed very apparent that the runner was out."
The Reds have now lost nine games this season by one run, and 13 of their 25 games have been decided by a single run. The Reds once again were unable to win one for their ace Johnny. Cueto tossed eight shutout innings, allowed three hits and struck out 11 in a no decision. Cueto's ERA is now a team best 1.15.
"It's tough luck for all of us," said Price. "It's definitely tough for Johnny because he hasn't had a bad game. It's just unfortunate to come in here and lose three games after playing so well in Pittsburgh."
The Reds end their ten game road trip at 5-5. They'll open a three-game set with the Cubs tomorrow night at home. The first pitch is 7:10 p.m. with Alfredo Simon (3-1, 1.30 ERA) throwing for the first time since his alleged rape allegations hit the print.
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