CLEVELAND -- Johnny Cueto added a few wrinkles and changes to go with his crackling fastball.
"I've been working on my changeup and slider," Cueto said through an interpreter. "Tonight they were working, so I used them."
Reds manager Dusty Baker had praised the 22-year-old, who went only 6 1/3 innings, but constantly worked out of trouble to win for the first time since June 6 at Florida.
"He had outstanding tempo, commanded both sides of the plate and got out of some jams," Baker said. "He's matured a lot. He's learning not to fight himself and control his emotions."
Cueto (6-8) struck out Sal Fasano with the bases loaded to end the second inning, left two runners stranded in both the fourth and sixth, and got key double plays in the first and fifth.
"We didn't do a particularly good job against their starter," Indians manager Eric Wedge said after Cleveland fell to 6-11 in interleague play. "We had some chances we let slip away. I felt like we could have eased our way back into it, but we didn't."
Cueto gave up five hits, hit two batters and left after issuing his third walk -- to Fasano with one out in the seventh.
Reliever Bill Bray yielded a double to Grady Sizemore before David Weathers came on and slammed the door on the Indians yet again. With runners on second and third, the right-hander got Jamey Carroll to line to second and threw a called third strike past Ben Francisco.
Cincinnati won for only the fourth time in 13 games, but clinched the season series in the battle of Ohio's teams. The Reds swept three games from the Indians last month in Cincinnati and are 1-1 in this three-game series.
Paul Bako, in an 0-for-15 slump, sliced on opposite-field three-run double to the left field in the fourth to give the Reds a 4-0 lead against Paul Byrd (3-8).
"That was what the game came down to," Byrd said. "I hung a curveball and he did a good job slapping it down the line.
"I walked a guy that inning. I can't afford to do things like that. I had my best fastball in two years. It's too bad I couldn't take advantage of that."
It was the same situation Cueto had escaped from in the second -- the bases loaded with the No. 9 hitter coming to bat.
"Johnny got a strikeout and their guy didn't get out of the same jam," Baker said. "That was huge, the type of clutch hit we've been missing, the difference in the game."
Byrd gave up four runs and six hits over six innings as he surpassed his loss total for all of last season, when he went 15-8. The right-hander is 1-6 in eight starts since May 21 and 0-4 since earning his 100th career win on June 6 in Detroit.
"No one on this team likes losing," Byrd said. "Nobody is dogging it. Nobody has quit. Things have not gone our way. We have to battle through this."
Adam Dunn hit his 19th homer -- and fourth in five games against Cleveland -- with one out in the first off Byrd. The right-hander fanned four, but walked a season-high three and hit a batter. He had walked only six in his previous 77 1/3 innings over 13 starts.
Byrd lost three consecutive starts in a season from June 2-12, 2002, when he was with Kansas City.
Former Indians second baseman Brandon Phillips had a two-out RBI single off Scott Elarton in the seventh to make it 5-0.
Indians 3B Casey Blake went 3-for-3 and is 8-for-16 in his last five games. ... Indians 1B Ryan Garko went 0-for-4 and is hitless in his last 16 at-bats. ... Indians OF Franklin Gutierrez went 0-for-3 to extend his hitless streak to 21 at-bats. ... Reds OF Jay Bruce went 2-for-4, breaking out of a .128 (6-for-47) slump over his previous 12 games. ... Baker was still talking before the game about Indians LHP C.C. Sabathia, who struck out 11 in eight shutout innings Friday night. "How many left-handers throw 96-97 (mph)," Baker said. "He's the only one I know." ... Baker said 3B Edward Encarnacion (back spasms) could play Sunday after missing five games. ... Byrd has yielded 21 homers, second in the majors to the Phillies' Brett Myers (24).