|Pittsburgh (5-6) «||0||0||0||1||1||0||1||0||x||3||7||0|
PITTSBURGH -- All in all, it was a frustrating Saturday night for the Cincinnati Reds.
Ace pitcher Johnny Cueto was forced to leave the 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fifth inning with a strained right triceps. He will return to Cincinnati on Sunday to be examined by team doctors.
In addition to losing a pitcher who has allowed just seven earned runs in his last seven starts in Pittsburgh, the Reds watched their offense sputter. Cincinnati went 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 runners.
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After striking out Pedro Alvarez starting the fifth, Cueto threw a first-pitch strike to Travis Snider then began shaking his right arm. A Reds trainer visited Cueto on the mound, briefly massaged the pitcher's upper arm, and both then walked to the dugout.
"I believe when I threw a changeup to Alvarez that I felt something in my arm," Cueto said. "It's disappointing. I felt really good. I thought I was pitching really good and I wanted to stay in that game."
Cueto had 19 victories last season and helped Cincinnati win the NL Central, then left the division series opener against San Francisco with an oblique strain that knocked him out for the rest of the series, won by the Giants in five games. He is 1-0 with a 2.60 ERA in three starts this season.
Cueto allowed one run and two hits in 4 1-3 innings with one walk and three strikeouts on Saturday.
"The good thing is that it isn't the elbow and it isn't the shoulder," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It's in the belly of the triceps so, hopefully, he'll be OK."
Pinch-hitter Jose Tabata added an RBI double off the right-center field fence in the seventh against J.J. Hoover.
Jeff Locke (1-1) won for only the second time in three major league seasons.
Making his 14th big league appearance and 12th start, Locke allowed one run, four hits and four walks in five innings with no strikeouts. His first win was last Oct. 1, when he pitched six innings of one-run ball to beat Atlanta.
"I had a hard time trying to find the strike zone," said Locke, who has a 2-7 career record. "I got them to hit some balls on the ground when I needed to and I was fortunate to have some good defense behind me."
However, Baker thought the Reds' lack of hitting with runners was as much as cause for the loss as the Pirates' defense and Locke's ability to escape jams.
"You've got to execute," Baker said. "Three times we had runners on second base with no outs and didn't score them. I can't stress enough how important it is to execute. It wasn't a very good job on our part."
Cincinnati has lost four in a row, its longest regular-season skid since a five-game streak last Aug. 5-9. The Pirates have won four of five following a 1-5 start.
Zack Cozart had three hits, including a double and his third homer of the season, a solo drive in the third. Andrew McCutchen walked in the fourth and scored on a two-out double by Garrett Jones, who is 7 for 14 in his last four games.
|Prized Cincinnati Reds starter Johnny Cueto leaves in the fifth inning with a strained right triceps. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Shin-Soo Choo, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.341|
|Zack Cozart, SS||5||1||3||1||0||0||1||.175|
|Joey Votto, 1B||2||0||0||0||3||0||2||.278|
|Todd Frazier, 3B||3||0||0||0||2||1||4||.308|
|Jay Bruce, RF||4||0||1||0||0||0||5||.280|
|Chris Heisey, LF||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.132|
|a- Xavier Paul, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.364|
|J.J. Hoover, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ryan Hanigan, C||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.038|
|Cesar Izturis, 2B||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.231|
|Johnny Cueto, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||.000|
|Alfredo Simon, P||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||1.000|
|Derrick Robinson, LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.222|
|a-grounded out for Heisey in the 7th|
|2B - Zack Cozart (1, Wilson), Jay Bruce (5, Locke)|
|HR - Zack Cozart (3, Locke)|
|RBI - Zack Cozart (6)|
|CS - Ryan Hanigan (1, 2nd base by Wilson/Martin)|
|Team LOB - 12|
|DP - Frazier-Izturis-Votto|
|Alfredo Simon (L,0-1)||2||3||2||2||1||2||0||6.43|
|Pitches-Strikes - Johnny Cueto 52-35, Alfredo Simon 52-31, J.J. Hoover 27-17|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johnny Cueto 7-2, Alfredo Simon 2-2, J.J. Hoover 1-3|
|Batters Faced - Johnny Cueto 15, Alfredo Simon 10, J.J. Hoover 7|
|Starling Marte, LF||4||0||1||1||0||2||1||.341|
|Neil Walker, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.162|
|Andrew McCutchen, CF||3||1||0||0||1||0||1||.243|
|Garrett Jones, 1B||4||0||2||1||0||1||0||.313|
|Jason Grilli, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Russell Martin, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.065|
|Pedro Alvarez, 3B||2||1||0||0||1||1||0||.086|
|Travis Snider, RF||3||1||1||0||0||0||0||.263|
|Clint Barmes, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.133|
|Jeff Locke, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|a- Josh Harrison, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.125|
|Justin Wilson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jared Hughes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Jose Tabata, PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.133|
|Mark Melancon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Gaby Sanchez, 1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.095|
|a-flied out for Locke in the 5th|
|b-doubled for Hughes in the 7th|
|2B - Garrett Jones (2, Cueto), Jose Tabata (1, Hoover)|
|RBI - Starling Marte (5), Garrett Jones (4), Jose Tabata (1)|
|2-OUT RBI - Starling Marte (2), Garrett Jones (3), Jose Tabata (1)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Alvarez-Walker-G. Jones|
|Jeff Locke (W,1-1)||5||4||1||1||4||0||1||4.09|
|Justin Wilson (H,1)||1.2||3||0||0||2||2||0||0.00|
|Jared Hughes (H,2)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.18|
|Mark Melancon (H,4)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.00|
|Jason Grilli (S,5)||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||0.00|
|IBB - Izturis by Jeff Locke|
|HBP - Choo (by Jeff Locke)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Locke 87-45, Justin Wilson 40-21, Jared Hughes 2-1, Mark Melancon 10-8, Jason Grilli 18-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Locke 10-4, Justin Wilson 1-1, Jared Hughes 1-0, Mark Melancon 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Jeff Locke 23, Justin Wilson 9, Jared Hughes 1, Mark Melancon 3, Jason Grilli 4|
|Attendance - 25118|
|Game Time - 3:09|
|Temperature - 52|
|Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Al Porter, Third Base - Jerry Layne|