Cueto throws 2nd shutout, Reds beat Padres


CINCINNATI — Two shutouts. Three complete games. Best ERA in the majors. A start to the season unlike any
other in more than 100 years.
Johnny Cueto is quickly compiling some really loud numbers.
Cueto pitched a three-hitter for his second shutout of the season, and Brandon Phillips hit a three-run
homer and a double, leading the Cincinnati Reds over the San Diego Padres 5-0 Thursday in the first game
of a day-night doubleheader.
The teams were making up their game rained out on Wednesday night.
Cueto (4-2) lowered the majors’ best ERA to 1.25 with his third complete game in nine starts.
Is he the best starter in the majors right now?
“I would say yes because the numbers talk and my numbers are going to talk for me,” Cueto said, with
assistant trainer Tomas Vera interpreting.
Here’s some numbers to consider: Cueto is the first major league pitcher to go at least seven innings and
allow two or fewer runs in each of his first nine starts since the Philadelphia Athletics’ Harry Krause
in 1909, according to information provided the Reds by the Elias Sports Bureau.
Also, he is the first Reds pitcher to go at least seven innings in each of his first nine starts since
Bucky Walters in 1944.
“He needs to start getting some national attention,” shortstop Zack Cozart said. “I was watching TV the
other night, and they were talking about (Zack) Greinke and (Clayton) Kershaw and I’m like, ‘What about
Johnny C?”’
The most impressive part to the Reds is how he won’t ease up even with a big lead like the one on
“He’s one of those guys that it doesn’t matter (what’s on) the scoreboard, he just goes out there and
continues to attack, continues to follow his game plan,” catcher Brayan Pena said. “That’s why he is who
he is. That’s why he’s been pitching the way he is.”
San Diego came into the game last in the NL in batting average (.222) and runs (118). The Padres were
blanked for the seventh time, the most in the majors. Cueto fanned eight, walked two and threw 116
Cueto felt a little tight and sluggish while warming up in the bullpen on a cool afternoon, but still
managed to pitch a shutout.
“He was terrific,” manager Bryan Price said. “He’s had games where he’s been sharper, but he kept making
pitches. I don’t know what else I can say about him.”
Phillips homered off Ian Kennedy (2-5) and Zack Cozart singled home a pair of runs, part of a three-hit
game for the shortstop.
Kennedy had been tough on the road and tough on the Reds throughout his career. The right-hander was 2-0
in his first three road games this season and had been 3-0 in four career starts against Cincinnati,
holding the Reds to one earned run or less three times.
He repeatedly pitched out of trouble early on, forcing the Reds to strand four in scoring position during
the first three innings.
The Reds got runners on first and third with two outs in the fifth, and Phillips connected for his third
homer. In his last nine games, Phillips is 14 for 35 with seven doubles, two homers and five multihit
Cozart snapped an 0-for-15 streak with runners in scoring position when he singled home a pair of runs in
the sixth. Kennedy gave up a season-high five runs and 11 hits in six innings.
San Diego’s Seth Smith singled, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games. Cincinnati’s Todd
Frazier singled twice and extended his career-best streak to 13 games.
NOTES: The Padres acquired OF Jake Goebbert in a deal that sent utility player Kyle Blanks to Oakland.
The Padres also will get another player to be determined or cash in the deal. Goebbert batted .257 with
six homers and 25 RBIs for Triple-A Sacramento this season. He was assigned to Triple-A El Paso. Blanks
played in five games with the Padres this season, going 2 for 10. … The Reds promoted LHP Jeff Francis
from Triple-A Louisville to start the second game. Francis signed a minor league deal in January after
the Rockies let him go. … The Reds optioned right-handed reliever Nick Christiani to Louisville before
the first game, then added him as the 26th man for the second game. The Padres added reliever Kevin
Quackenbush as their extra player for the second game. … The Reds moved right-handed starter Mat Latos
to the 60-day DL. Latos is expected back from knee and forearm problems in early June. Kay on Twitter:

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