Here’s Johnny! Here’s Johnny! As much of those 11,000 Pirates fans in the stands tonight in PNC Park tried to get into Johnny Cueto‘s head, how that worked out for y’all tonight?. The taunts of “Cue-to, Cue-to,” were meant to rattle the Reds’ ace into repeating his faltering start in October’s Wild Card Game that included Cueto accidentally dropping a ball while on the mound.
Of course, there were far fewer fans in attendance this time in Cueto’s return to PNC Park. And Pittsburgh’s hitters were the once again dominated by Cueto for the second time in a week with a complete-game gem and a 4-1 victory.
Cueto walked three and struck out four, allowing three hits and only serving up Andrew McCutchen‘s solo homer in the ninth.
After he had a three-hit complete game shutout for a 4-0 win over the Pirates on Thursday at Great American Ball Park, Cueto became the first Reds pitcher with consecutive complete games since Mat Latos in 2012.
The Reds lineup provided Cueto with enough in the two run seventh inning against former red Edinson Volquez, who was more than up for the challenge of a pitcher’s duel.
Volquez gave up only the two runs and five hits over seven innings with one walk, a hit batter and three strikeouts. He retired a stretch of 13 out of 15 before the Reds put something together in the top of the seventh.
Jay Bruce led off with a single into center field and Todd Frazier followed with a single up the middle. With one out, Brayan Pena ripped an RBI hit into right field and attempted to leg out a double. After a slide that appeared that he aluded Jordy Mercer‘s tag, Pena was called safe at second base by the umpire . Following a manager’s challenge by Clint Hurdle, Pena was ruled out on the replay and given a single.
Zack Cozart‘s RBI double lined to left field off Volquez gave Cincinnati and Cueto a much neededs second run at that point.
In the top of the eighth inning, the Reds connected on three hits against reliever Tony Watson, including Bruce’s RBI single to right field that scored Billy Hamilton for a 3-0 lead. Cueto’s own RBI single with one out in the top of the ninth scored Pena to give him more breathing room.
After Travis Snider‘s one-out single to center field in the second inning, Cueto retired the next 13 in a row and 17 of 18. Mercer reached on a Frazier error to begin the Pittsburgh eighth but was erased when Jose Tabata grounded into a double play.
Great win for the Reds, they move to 3-2 on their current 10 game road trip, with two in Pittsburgh.
Tomorrow’s pitching matchup for game 3 of the series, will be Alfredo Simon for the Reds and he will be opposed by Charlie Morton of the Pirates. First pitch is at 7:05pm.