Colorado at Cincinnati

W: J. Cueto (8-5) L: J. Chacin (9-9)
S: F. Cordero (22)
HR: COL - S. Smith (12)   CIN - None

Reds 2, Rockies 1 wire reports

CINCINNATI -- Johnny Cueto looked and felt more like himself Thursday.

Cueto and two relievers made a pair of first-inning runs stand up and the Cincinnati Reds salvaged a split of their four-game series against the Colorado Rockies with a 2-1 win.

Cueto, who blamed bad chicken wings for an upset stomach while pitching a season-low 3 2/3 innings in his last start at Wrigley Field, bounced back to throw three-hit ball for seven shutout innings. He took over the NL ERA lead, lowering his mark from 2.06 to 1.94.

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"I didn't have any wings today," Cueto said. "I felt strong. I have been working hard to get better."

Cueto (8-5) struck out a season-high nine, including Carlos Gonzalez with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning, walked two and hit a batter. He missed the first month of the season with soreness in his upper right arm, qualified for the ERA lead with this outing.

The fifth-inning jam was the only trouble for Cueto. He got two outs on six pitches before pitcher Jhoulys Chacin singled. Dexter Fowler singled and Mark Ellis walked to bring Gonzalez to the plate.

"Johnny was dealing," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He had an easy inning going but he made a mistake to their pitcher, that put him in trouble. It cost him another 15-20 pitches or he could have gone farther."

In the past, those bumps upset Cueto more than the bad chicken wings. But the maturing right-hander is getting better at handling those situations.

"I was concentrating on not overthrowing to get myself out of danger," said Cueto, who has become Cincinnati's ace.

Said Baker: "He's still learning. He's pitching well while he's learning but he learned today that every batter counts, preventing the lineup from turning over is important."

Aroldis Chapman allowed the first two Rockies to reach in the eighth before getting Gonzalez to ground into a double play and striking out Eliezer Alfonzo. Francisco Cordero allowed Seth Smith's 12th home run of the season leading off the ninth, then earned his 22nd save in 27 chances.

Chacin (9-9) was almost as effective for Colorado, tying his season high with nine strikeouts while allowing six hits and two runs in eight innings. He fell to 1-5 over his last 10 starts despite finishing with a flourish, striking out the side in eighth.

The Reds took a 2-0 lead with a two-out, four-hit burst in the first against Chacin, who went into the game limiting opposing batters to a league-low .208 batting average.

Joey Votto lined a double off the left-field wall and scored on Jay Bruce's single up the middle. Bruce moved up on Ramon Hernandez's single and took third on Drew Stubbs' infield single to third baseman Chris Nelson, whose errant throw to first allowed a run to score.

"[Cueto's] very good," Chacin said. "When you face him, you know it's going to be a close game. What's more frustrating is getting the first two outs and then allowing four hits and two runs."


Bruce went 6 for 14 in the series with two home runs and six RBI. ... A pitcher needs one inning for each of his team's games to qualify for the ERA title. This was the Reds' 118th game, and Cueto reached that threshold on Jonathan Herrera's groundout in the fifth. It's the third time in Cueto's last three starts that he's qualified for the lead, only to later become a non-qualifier. ... Despite his eight-game hitting streak, Colorado SS Troy Tulowitzki did not start. "He came to me [Tuesday] and said his legs were starting to feel a little heavy," manager Jim Tracy said. "We wanted to be proactive. If not, you risk pushing the guy." Tulowitzki later pinch-hit. ... Alfonzo batted higher than sixth for the first time this season in nine starts. ... Reds RHP Bronson Arroyo will be looking for his first win in eight starts since beating the Orioles at Baltimore on June 25 when he starts Friday night at home against San Diego. ... Colorado RHP Aaron Cook is 1-4 in his career against the Cardinals going into his start Friday at St. Louis. ... Red 2B Brandon Phillips missed his second consecutive start with a left elbow still sore and swollen from being hit by a pitch on Tuesday. He refused to take a cortisone shot, he said before the game. "If they have to stick me to play, it's just more reason I shouldn't be playing," he said.

Copyright 2017 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

J. Bruce
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

J. Cueto
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 2
K 9

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Colorado Rockies
Dexter Fowler, CF3010120 .271
Mark Ellis, 2B3020100 .235
Carlos Gonzalez, RF3000015 .280
Eliezer Alfonzo, C4000022 .342
Seth Smith, LF4111010 .287
Chris Nelson, 3B4000030 .236
Ty Wigginton, 1B3000100 .256
Jonathan Herrera, SS3000001 .243
   a- Troy Tulowitzki, PH1000000 .302
Jhoulys Chacin, P3010010 .167
a-lined out for Herrera in the 9th
HR - Seth Smith (12, Cordero)
RBI - Seth Smith (49)
Team LOB - 7
E - Chris Nelson (4, Throwing)
Colorado Rockies
Jhoulys Chacin (L,9-9) 8622390 3.39
Pitches-Strikes - Jhoulys Chacin 111-68
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jhoulys Chacin 9-6
Batters Faced - Jhoulys Chacin 33
Cincinnati Reds
Dave Sappelt, LF4010000 .200
Edgar Renteria, SS3000100 .245
Joey Votto, 1B4110013 .317
Jay Bruce, RF4121020 .270
Ramon Hernandez, C4010021 .301
Drew Stubbs, CF4010031 .251
Todd Frazier, 3B2000100 .213
Paul Janish, 2B3000003 .228
Johnny Cueto, P2000010 .030
   a- Yonder Alonso, PH0000100 .471
    Aroldis Chapman, P0000000 .000
    Francisco Cordero, P0000000 .000
a-walked for Cueto in the 7th
2B - Joey Votto (28, Chacin), Jay Bruce (22, Chacin)
RBI - Jay Bruce (69)
2-OUT RBI - Jay Bruce (17)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Renteria-Janish-Votto
Cincinnati Reds
Johnny Cueto (W,8-5) 7300290 1.94
Aroldis Chapman (H,9) 1100110 3.31
Francisco Cordero (S,22) 1111001 2.54
HBP - C. Gonzalez (by Johnny Cueto)
Pitches-Strikes - Johnny Cueto 120-76, Aroldis Chapman 19-11, Francisco Cordero 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johnny Cueto 4-8, Aroldis Chapman 1-0
Batters Faced - Johnny Cueto 27, Aroldis Chapman 4, Francisco Cordero 4
Game Information
Attendance - 20546
Game Time - 2:29
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Adrian Johnson, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom