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Cincinnati at Pittsburgh

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Cincinnati (13-11) «013010000570
Pittsburgh (12-12)000000000040

Reds 5, Pirates 0

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Zeros are easy-to-find digits these days in Reds and Pirates box scores. The Reds' pitchers are throwing up plenty of them, and the Pirates' hitters keep finding them after their names.

Johnny Cueto limited the Pirates to four singles while striking out nine during eight dominating innings, and Ramon Hernandez drove in three runs with a single to lead Cincinnati past Pittsburgh 5-0 Sunday for another road series victory.

The Reds pitched shutouts in each of their two victories in the three-game series -- the fourth in a row they've won on the road, where they are 9-4. They have a major league-leading five shutouts in 24 games, three in their last four games, or only one fewer than the six they had last season.

Cueto (2-1) was in control from the start, striking out three of the first four batters he faced and nine overall with a fastball that reached 95 miles per hour and a difficult-to-hit slider. The right-hander has allowed two runs in 26 2/3 innings over his last four starts -- an 0.67 ERA that lowered his season's ERA to 1.65.

"He was locating his fastball well, had a good tempo, and whenever he was behind he would back off and concentrate a little harder and relax and throw strikes," manager Dusty Baker said. "He's pitching great."

Cueto isn't alone in doing that on a much-improved Reds staff.

Five Cincinnati pitchers have ERAs that are below 2.99, and two more are at 3.24 or below. Arthur Rhodes completed the shutout by pitching the ninth inning, his 10th consecutive scoreless appearance.

"I want to go deep in the game," said Cueto, who wanted to finish up in the ninth but was pulled after making 109 pitches. "I'm working hard to be more consistent and that's the goal in every game, to go deep into the game."

The Pirates ran into the Reds at the wrong time. The Pirates, who ended a 22-inning scoreless streak while winning 8-6 on Saturday night, were shut out for the third time in four games.

"This is part of the game," Nyjer Morgan said. "It's one of those things where you've got to keep your head up and keep plugging away, and just believe in the guys behind you and everything will work out. He [Cueto] just kept us off balance and did what he's supposed to do."

It was the second time in the series the Pirates didn't manage an extra-base hit. They were limited to five singles by Bronson Arroyo and reliever Francisco Cordero in a 4-0 loss on Friday, two days after they had only two hits in a 1-0 to Milwaukee and Yovani Gallardo, who faces them again Monday.

"You're going to run into games like this," manager John Russell said. "They've got a good rotation. I thought we had some decent at-bats, hit some balls hard. We'll find ways to score. We're not going to dwell on this game too much."

Cueto faced only three batters in an inning five times, thanks to a pickoff and a double play, but Pirates starter Jeff Karstens (1-1) struggled during his five innings.

Karstens fell behind in the count 2-1 in the second before Jay Bruce homered deep into the right-field seats, his sixth. An inning later, Karstens walked the bases full ahead of Hernandez's three-run single off the right-field auxiliary scoreboard. Hernandez held up rounding first and was thrown out at second to end the inning.

"At least everything came out all right," Hernandez said.

Karstens walked four and gave up six hits and five runs, four earned, to elevate his ERA to 5.85.

Both teams came in with 12-11 records -- the first time since 1999 they've met past May 1 when both teams were above .500. The Pirates have had 16 consecutive losing seasons and the Reds eight.

Notes

  • The Pirates were shut out for the fourth time in 24 games. They have lost five of six.
  • Pirates SS Jack Wilson (sprained finger) took batting practice for the first time since going on the disabled list April 26.
  • Reds SS Alex Gonzalez ranged deep into left field to make a backhanded catch of Jason Jaramillo's popup in the second.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Cincinnati

R. Hernandez
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
Cincinnati

J. Cueto
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 1
K 9
 
Cincinnati Reds
Willy Taveras, CF5010000 .269
Chris Dickerson, LF2100200 .204
Joey Votto, 1B3210111 .363
Brandon Phillips, 2B4021003 .207
Jay Bruce, RF3211102 .253
Ramon Hernandez, C3023100 .261
Adam Rosales, 3B3000103 .417
Alex Gonzalez, SS4000002 .186
    Arthur Rhodes, P0000000 .000
Johnny Cueto, P3000012 .200
   a- Paul Janish, PH-SS1000010 .333
Totals3157563  
a-struck out for Cueto in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ramon Hernandez (4, Karstens)
HR - Jay Bruce (6, Karstens)
RBI - Brandon Phillips (11), Jay Bruce (14), Ramon Hernandez 3 (7)
2-OUT RBI - Brandon Phillips (5), Ramon Hernandez 3 (4)
CS - Willy Taveras (1, 2nd base by Karstens/Jaramillo)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - B. Phillips-A. Gonzalez-Votto
Cincinnati Reds
Johnny Cueto (W,2-1) 8400190 1.65
Arthur Rhodes 1000000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Johnny Cueto 109-68, Arthur Rhodes 8-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johnny Cueto 6-7, Arthur Rhodes 1-2
Batters Faced - Johnny Cueto 27, Arthur Rhodes 3
Pittsburgh Pirates
Nyjer Morgan, LF3010100 .310
Freddy Sanchez, 2B4000021 .327
Nate McLouth, CF4010020 .284
Adam LaRoche, 1B3000011 .276
Brandon Moss, RF3000000 .197
Andy LaRoche, 3B3020000 .250
Jason Jaramillo, C3000012 .286
Brian Bixler, SS2000020 .200
    Evan Meek, P0000000 .000
   a- Eric Hinske, PH1000001 .250
    Jesse Chavez, P0000000 .000
Jeff Karstens, P1000010 .000
    Ramon Vazquez, SS2000001 .175
Totals2904019  
a-flied out for Meek in the 8th
Batting
CS - Nyjer Morgan (3, 2nd base by Cueto/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Brandon Moss 2
DP - Moss-Vazquez
PB - Jason Jaramillo (1)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Jeff Karstens (L,1-1) 5654411 5.85
Evan Meek 3100210 0.00
Jesse Chavez 1000010 1.74
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Karstens 95-53, Evan Meek 48-27, Jesse Chavez 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Karstens 5-7, Evan Meek 3-4, Jesse Chavez 1-1
Batters Faced - Jeff Karstens 23, Evan Meek 11, Jesse Chavez 3
Game Information
Attendance - 13670
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 59
Umpires - Home - Angel Campos, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Mike DiMuro, Third Base - Dale Scott