Reds One-Hit Pirates

The Reds won at Pittsburgh to tie them with the Pirates for second place in the division, only two games behind St. Louis. Johnny Cueto was dominant, allowing only one hit and a walk in eight shutout innings. Jay Bruce got scoring started with a home run before the lineup piled on in a 6-0 win.

The Reds opened up a series at Pittsburgh with a 6-0 shutout win over the Pirates. Jay Bruce got their scoring started with a solo home run in the fourth inning. That turned out to be all they would need, but Brandon Phillips added some insurance by leading off the sixth with a homer. It was a 2-0 game after seven innings before the Reds opened it up by added two more in each of the last two frames. Phillips and Bruce both scored in the eighth by leading off the inning with a hit batsman and single before crossing on a wild pitch and RBI hit by Derrick Robinson. They had a lengthy at-bat in the ninth and finished their scoring with RBI walks to Robinson and Ryan Hanigan. Seven Reds reached safely twice on the night. Bruce led the attack with two hits and a walk while Phillips also added a couple of hits. Hanigan reached with a hit and two walks, Zach Cozart, Todd Frazier, and Robinson each reached twice via a hit and walk and Joey Votto walked twice.

If there were any doubts on Johnny Cueto's recovery from his recent stint on the DL he answered them with a dominating performance. The right hander picked up the win by allowing only one hit and one walk in eight innings pitched while striking out six. He's now 3-0 on the season with a 2.17 ERA. Sam LeCure entered in the ninth and retired the side in order to end the game.

It was the third start since coming back for the Reds ace over which he's allowed four runs in twenty innings pitched with a 0.75 WHIP. His back injury was not considered serious, just nagging. It was the same ailment that removed him in the first inning of the playoffs last October and cost him six turns through the rotation this season so Reds trainers will certainly be trying methods to reduce recurrence. While he is on the mound he continues to deliver the same consistency the Reds have enjoyed the past few seasons. Since coming off the DL to start the 2011 season he's gone 31-14 with a 2.54 ERA/1.113 WHIP. He stayed healthy for the entire regular season last year and finished in the top four in balloting for the NL Cy Young.

The pitching staff has been a major reason for success that Cincinnati has had on the field the past couple years. Last night's win moved them a half game closer to division leader St. Louis who had their home game against the Giants postponed by weather. The Reds are now two games out and tied with the Pirates for the second best record in the NL.

Reds pitching has started the season strong again this year and have the third lowest ERA in the league. One problem is that they are in the same division as the top two. Their 3.28 starter ERA is second only to St. Louis who has started the season out with an incredible 2.58 over their first 53 games. The Reds will look to separate themselves from the Pirates Saturday in game two of the series at Pittsburgh and will send Mike Leake to the mound to face Francisco Liriano. Leake currently has a 3.02 ERA and will enter with an impressive streak of allowing only one run over 21 innings in his last three outings.

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Louisville allowed a ninth-inning walk-off single in a 3-2 loss at Toledo. The Bats had previously tied the contest with a Mike Hessman homer to lead off the fifth and Billy Hamilton scoring after leading off the sixth with a double. Hessman reached with a couple of walks in addition to his long-ball while Henry Rodriguez stroked two of his team's seven hits. Pedro Villarreal got no decision from a nice start, allowing two runs on four hits in seven innings. Jose Diaz entered in the eighth and allowed the game-winner in the next inning for the loss.

Pensacola won a low-scoring affair by a 2-1 margin over visiting Jacksonville. Bryson Smith delivered an early run with a first-inning double and Ryan LaMarre plated the go-ahead with a single in the fifth. Brodie Greene finished with two of the six Wahoo hits while Smith reached on a walk in addition to his double. Josh Smith got the start and the win by allowing only one run while working into the seventh. He allowed seven hits and two walks while striking out seven. Lee Hyde and Loek Van Mil combined for two-plus scoreless innings to finish the game with Van Mil getting the save.

Bakersfield jumped on Rancho Cucamonga early and often while cruising to a 14-7 win at Sam Lynn Field. Marquez Smith got the party started with a two-run home run that started a three-run rally in the third inning which also include an RBI single off the bat of Kyle Waldrop who followed a Juan Duran triple. Smith sac flied another one home in the second before Juan Silverio doubled home a run in the third. Yorman Rodriguez popped a two-run homer in the fourth before the home team blew the game open with a five-run rally in the sixth which was led off by a Juan Perez solo homer. Smith finished with four hits and five RBI while Rodriguez and Yovan Gonzalez both reached with two hits and two walks. Ryan Wright, Waldrop, and Perez also stroked two hits apiece. Carlos Contreras got the start and allowed three runs in five innings which held up for the win.

Dayton was shut out in a 1-0 home loss to Lake County. Ismael Guillon had his best start of the season but still picked up the loss after allowing one run in five-plus innings. He limited the Captains to three hits and cut his walks down to two while striking out five. Ben Klimesh and Alejandro Chacin combined for three-plus scoreless innings. The Dragon offense was held to three hits with Jesse Winker reaching twice with one of them and a walk.

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