The day off on Monday was just what the doctor ordered for the ailing (that’s metaphorical ailing) Cincinnati Reds as they dominated and defeated the Cleveland Indians Tuesday evening in the Queen City.
Joey Votto (2 for 4, 3 RBI, 1 BB) broke open a one run game with a two-run homerun in the 7th to give the Cincinnati Reds a 4-1 lead. The flood gates opened after that and the Reds went on to win the game 7-1. Votto improved his batting average to .357 after his performance Tuesday. All told, the Cincinnati Reds racked up 13 hits total. Aside from Votto, the other offensive star of the evening was Wilson Valdez, who started the game for the first time this season and had three hits.
With all the hitting that the Cincinnati Reds produced, (and it was considerable) it was the pitching of ace Johnny Cueto that was the story of the night. Cueto came through with a complete game win (his second of the year and sixth of his career). He allowed only 6 hits, only 1 run (which came in the first) on only 122 pitches. He improved his ERA to 2.46 and record to 7-3. It was a serious performance against a great hitting and patient Indian team. In all seriousness, given the plight of the relief pitching recently, Cueto’s complete game couldn’t have come at a better time. Plus, given Cueto’s own struggles recently, it was a shot in the arm for him too.
The most telling part of the game came in the 9th with 2 outs and Cueto had allowed a single. Cincinnati Reds’ manager Dusty Baker came out to talk with Cueto. Cueto clearly was shaking his head and was not about to come out of the game. Give him credit, Baker relented. One pitch later and the Cincinnati Reds were walking off the field a winner and still in first place in the division at 33-27.