With Johnny Cueto starting for the Cincinnati Reds against the Atlanta Braves’ Julio Teheran, a pitching duel was definitely expected this afternoon.
This one, though, exceeded expectations.
Each pitcher allowed just three hits over eight flawless innings and first baseman Freddie Freeman gave the Braves a 1-0 victory on a walk-off single with two outs in the 10th inning.
Right fielder Jason Heyward lined a single up the middle with two outs off J.J. Hoover and center fielder B.J. Upton followed with an infield single off Hoover’s glove.
Left-hander Manny Parra was brought into to face the left-handed hitter and Freeman smashed a one-hopper off the center-field fence to give the Braves a series sweep.
Teheran, who has given up just one run over 24 innings in his last three starts, walked two and struck out five while lowering his ERA to 1.47. He threw 94 pitches before departing.
Cueto, coming off consecutive complete-game victories over the Pittsburgh Pirates, struck out 11 and walked three as he lowered his ERA to 1.15 before departing after 114 pitches.
It was the fifth career double-figure strikeout game for Cueto, who fanned a career-high 12 in his three-hit shutout of the Pirates on April 16. He has allowed just one run over his last 30 innings.
Reds manager Bryan Price was ejected in the bottom of the first inning for questioning a video review that let stand a safe call at first base on a pickoff attempt against Upton.
Price, who lost his challenge for the game, came onto the infield pointing at the stadium video board to get an explanation from crew chief Bill Miller after the review in New York was ruled inconclusive.
The video review took just under two minutes and the argument that followed a little longer as first-year manager Price was tossed for the first time.
Also ejected was pitcher Homer Bailey, the loser in Friday night’s series opener, for yelling from the dugout.
The Reds got the game’s first runner to third base in the fifth inning on a leadoff double by left fielder Ryan Ludwick and a fly ball, but Teheran struck out shortstop Zack Cozart and Cueto.
Then the Braves threatened for the first time in the bottom of the inning. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons doubled with one out and catcher Gerald Laird walked. They moved up on a sacrifice by Teheran, but Cueto fanned Heyward.
So, the road trip ends in a tough way, losing all three to the Braves, finishing the record at 5-5 in the three cities, 10 game road trip.
The Reds will return home to Cincinnati inside GABP, to start a seven game homestand beginning tomorrow night with three against the Chicago Cubs.
First pitch is at 7:10pm, Alfredo Simon will be on the mound for the redlegs.