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Washington at Cincinnati

Scoreboard
Washington (4-2)030000000381
Cincinnati (4-2) «30000300x6110

Cueto outlasts Strasburg for Reds victory over Nats

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Johnny Cueto ordered three runs. His Cincinnati teammates dutifully delivered.

The Reds pitcher came off the mound after the sixth inning of his start Sunday against the Washington Nationals with the score tied, 3-all.

"I said, `I want three runs here. Do it for me,"' Cueto said.

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Todd Frazier confirmed Cueto's order.

"I was screaming with him," the Cincinnati third baseman said. "He was saying it in Spanish, but we understood."

Boy, did they. The Reds scored three runs off Washington ace Stephen Strasburg on their way to a 6-3 win in what started out as a highly anticipated matchup of young aces.

Jay Bruce drove in three runs as Cincinnati wrapped up an impressive opening week homestand. Bruce, Shin-Soo Choo, Xavier Paul and Brandon Phillips each had two hits to back Cueto (1-0) and help the Reds win the rubber match of their three-game series with Washington. They pleased manager Dusty Baker by finishing 4-2 at home against the Nationals and Los Angeles Angels, two teams expected to contend this season for post-season berths.

"That's really big," Baker said. "That's what you plan on doing. You want to win two out of three and then maybe go on a long winning streak. You want to get as far away from .500 as possible."

Cueto needed 108 pitches to get through six innings, allowing seven hits and three runs. He walked three and struck out six. Aroldis Chapman allowed one hit and had two strikeouts in the ninth for his second save.

"There's pride in facing him," Cueto said. "He's a good pitcher like I am. It was a competitive situation."

Strasburg (1-1) allowed nine hits and six runs with four walks and five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He threw 114 pitches, 73 for strikes. The Reds didn't exactly overpower him, connecting for just one extra-base hit and three infield singles. They scored one run on an infield out and the go-ahead run on a fielder's-choice grounder.

"I learned a lot out there," Strasburg said about facing an opponent's ace. "You want to be in that situation and go deep into the ballgame."

Cincinnati left-hander Sean Marshall pitched the seventh in his first appearance of the season after getting over what he described as shoulder fatigue. Jonathan Broxton worked the eighth.

The Reds knocked Strasburg out with that three-run sixth. Rookie Derrick Robinson, called up on Wednesday to replace the injured Ryan Ludwick, led off with his first major league hit, a sharp one-hopper just out of the reach of diving third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.

Robinson went to third on Choo's single to center and slid across the plate with the go-ahead run just ahead of second baseman Danny Espinosa's throw on Paul's fielder's choice.

"It's not 100 percent that I'm going to score there," Robinson said. "I just try to use my God-given talent as much as possible."

Robinson's speed is what made him the front-runner to be called up when Ludwick went down, Baker said.

"Speed kills," Baker said. "Speed doesn't go into slumps. I love speed. I love power, too, but I love speed."

Both runners moved up on Joey Votto's chopper to Strasburg and Phillips singled to left through the drawn-in infield to drive in Paul and end Strasburg's day. Ryan Mattheus relieved Strasburg, and Bruce greeted him with a run-scoring infield single to shortstop Ian Desmond.

The duel between the two right-handers nearly fizzled early.

Strasburg allowed as many hits in the first inning Sunday as he did while throwing seven shutout innings against Miami during a 2-0 win in Washington's opener on April 1. Four straight runners reached base, including Paul and Phillips with infield singles and Bruce with a bases-loaded, two-run double. Phillips scored the Reds' third run of the inning on Todd Frazier's groundout.

The Nationals immediately tied the score in the second on Desmond's double to left-center, Danny Espinosa's walk and Kurt Suzuki's 357-foot home run into the left field seats.

Notes

  • The Reds begin their first road trip of the season Monday with three games in St. Louis, where they've won just three and split two of their last 27 series, starting in 2003.
  • Washington returns home after a brief three-game road trip to open a six-game homestand, starting Monday with the first of three interleague games against the White Sox.
  • Zimmerman's third-inning error was the 12th committed by a Reds opponents in the first six games of the season. The Reds have been charged with just two.
 
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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Jay Bruce doubles and knocks in three runs to power the Reds past the Nationals. (Getty Images)
Jay Bruce doubles and knocks in three runs to power the Reds past the Nationals. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Washington

K. Suzuki
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
Cincinnati

J. Bruce
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
 
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Denard Span, CF3010211 .250
Jayson Werth, RF4010013 .240
Bryce Harper, LF4010022 .360
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4000001 .238
Chad Tracy, 1B4000020 .111
Ian Desmond, SS4110010 .174
Danny Espinosa, 2B3110100 .182
Kurt Suzuki, C4133001 .333
Stephen Strasburg, P3000022 .000
    Ryan Mattheus, P0000000 .000
    Henry Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
   a- Tyler Moore, PH1000011 .000
Totals34383310  
a-struck out for Rodriguez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ian Desmond (2, Cueto), Danny Espinosa (3, Cueto), Kurt Suzuki 2 (2, Cueto, Chapman)
HR - Kurt Suzuki (1, Cueto)
RBI - Kurt Suzuki 3 (3)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Chad Tracy (1, Misplayed grounder)
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Stephen Strasburg (L,1-1) 5.1966450 4.38
Ryan Mattheus 1.2200220 2.45
Henry Rodriguez 1000000 7.71
IBB - Hanigan by Stephen Strasburg
Pitches-Strikes - Stephen Strasburg 114-73, Ryan Mattheus 41-23, Henry Rodriguez 9-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Stephen Strasburg 9-4, Ryan Mattheus 3-0, Henry Rodriguez 2-1
Batters Faced - Stephen Strasburg 31, Ryan Mattheus 9, Henry Rodriguez 3
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Shin-Soo Choo, CF4120100 .375
Xavier Paul, LF4221001 .375
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
   a- Jack Hannahan, PH1010000 .500
    Jonathan Broxton, P0000000 .000
    Aroldis Chapman, P0000000 .000
Joey Votto, 1B3100223 .238
Brandon Phillips, 2B5121013 .333
Jay Bruce, RF5023000 .241
Todd Frazier, 3B3011200 .480
Zack Cozart, SS5000015 .125
Ryan Hanigan, C3000124 .063
Johnny Cueto, P2000003 .000
   b- Derrick Robinson, PH-LF2110010 .250
Totals37611667  
a-singled for Marshall in the 7th
b-singled for Cueto in the 6th
Batting
2B - Jay Bruce (4, Strasburg)
RBI - Xavier Paul (5), Brandon Phillips (5), Jay Bruce 3 (4), Todd Frazier (9)
SB - Shin-Soo Choo (1, 2nd base off Strasburg/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
DP - Cozart-B. Phillips-Votto
PB - Ryan Hanigan (1)
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Johnny Cueto (W,1-0) 6733361 2.77
Sean Marshall (H,1) 1000010 0.00
Jonathan Broxton (H,1) 1000010 0.00
Aroldis Chapman (S,2) 1100020 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Johnny Cueto 108-71, Sean Marshall 14-10, Jonathan Broxton 10-7, Aroldis Chapman 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johnny Cueto 7-4, Sean Marshall 1-1, Aroldis Chapman 1-0
Batters Faced - Johnny Cueto 27, Sean Marshall 3, Jonathan Broxton 3, Aroldis Chapman 4
Game Information
Attendance - 32514
Game Time - 3:07
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Jordan Baker, Third Base - Tim McClelland