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Cueto, Reds take down Nationals

Aug 18, 2011 - 2:37 AM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Johnny Cueto dazzled Washington hitters in eight plus innings to guide the Reds past the Nationals, 2-1, in the second of a three-game series.

Cueto (9-5) gave up one run -- a ninth inning homer to Ryan Zimmerman -- while scattering six hits and fanning five.

"He did just what he usually does. He had good location with his fastball," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said of Cueto. "His breaking ball is tough to pick up and he was able to keep a low pitch count. He has good stuff."

Joey Votto homered and Ramon Hernandez drove in a run for Cincinnati, which has won five of its last seven contests.

Zimmerman had two hits and Rick Ankiel added a pair of singles for the Nats, who have lost four times in their last six games.

Ross Detwiler (1-3) was pegged with the loss after giving up a run on seven hits in six innings.

"I wasn't real pleased that he didn't show the breaking ball early," Johnson said of Detwiler. "But he showed real poise over six innings and threw the ball good."

Cincinnati went up 2-0 in the eighth. With the bases loaded and one out Hernandez hit a ball up the middle. Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa fielded the grounder and attempted to turn the inning-ending double play but stumbled running to the bag and was only able to get an out at first, allowing Jay Bruce to score what would become the deciding run.

The Nationals refused to go down without a fight. After making an incredible defensive stop in the top of the frame, Zimmerman roped a first pitch fastball into the left field stands to cut the lead to 2-1. Francisco Cordero then was able to get Michael Morse to ground out before walking Jayson Werth and giving up a single to Espinosa. Jonny Gomes then reached on a fielding error to load the bases. However, Cordero was able to get Wilson Ramos to ground into a game-ending double play to pick up his 24th save of the season.

The Reds wasted no time scoring, putting a run on the board in the first. Votto launched his 20th homer of the season, over the wall in left-center.

The Nats put runners at second and third with one out in the fourth, but Cueto was able to get Werth to pop up to the shortstop before Espinosa lined out to Brandon Phillips at second to end the threat.

Game Notes

Votto has reached base safely in 112 games this season...The Reds lead the NL with 140 home runs this season...Detwiler struck out a career-high seven batters...The Nationals are 18-25 since Johnson took over as manager June 26.