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National League Game Summary - Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
(Tuesday, April 22nd)
Final Score: Cincinnati 4, Pittsburgh 1
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Johnny Cueto was two outs away from shutting out the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second time in a week, but the Cincinnati ace was nonetheless masterful in pitching the Reds to a 4-1 win.
Six days after tossing a three-hit shutout against them, Cueto (2-2) was just as stingy against the NL Central rivals before Andrew McCutchen belted a solo home run in the ninth inning.
Cueto, who was working on 21 consecutive scoreless innings prior to the blast, still finished off his eighth career complete game having allowed just three hits and three walks while adding an RBI single in the ninth for good measure.
"(Cueto's) been really tough," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's excellent on both sides of the plate."
Brayan Pena and Jay Bruce both had two hits, a run scored and another driven in for the Reds, winners in five of their last seven games.
Pittsburgh fell for the ninth time in the last 12 games despite a strong outing by Edinson Volquez (1-1), who matched Cueto before blinking in the seventh.
Bruce led off the deciding frame with the Reds' second base hit of the night and moved to second when Todd Frazier lined a single to center. Pena's single to right past a diving Ike Davis plated Bruce, and Frazier scored on Zack Cozart's two-out double to left.
Volquez was relieved in the eighth having yielded just five hits and a walk, and the Reds added another insurance run off Tony Watson, who surrendered three base hits in the inning, the last an RBI single to Bruce.
The only serious trouble Cueto faced came in the second when Pittsburgh put two on with one out. Cueto induced a pair of harmless groundouts by Jordy Mercer and Volquez to begin a string of 13 straight hitters retired.
The hurler singled in Pena in the ninth and shook off McCutchen's opposite- field poke in the bottom half to complete his gem.
"Other than (McCutchen's home run) he was flawless," Pena said of Cueto.
Cueto, who lowered his ERA to 1.38, was looking to become the first Reds pitcher to toss back-to-back shutouts since Tom Seaver did so in 1977 ... Cueto improved to 15-4 against Pittsburgh ... Pirates outfielder Travis Snider was suspended by Major League Baseball Tuesday for his role in Sunday's benches-clearing fracas with the Brewers. He appealed the decision, as did catcher Russell Martin with his one-game ban, and went 1-for-3 at the plate ... The third meeting of this four-game set will take place Wednesday with Cincinnati's Alfredo Simon toeing the rubber opposite Charlie Morton.
04/23 00:37:47 ET