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Ludwick, Cueto lead Reds past D-Backs

Jul 18, 2012 - 3:31 AM Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Ryan Ludwick clubbed a three-run homer in the third inning and Johnny Cueto remained unbeaten against the Diamondbacks, as the Reds earned a 4-0 win in the second installment of this four-game series.

Cueto (11-5) gave up four hits, walked four and had three strikeouts in six innings. The right-hander moved to 4-0 in five career starts versus Arizona. He's also 6-1 in eight games at Great American Ball Park this year.

"I think we expect that out of him every night now," Ludwick said of Cueto. "He's really turned into quite the pitcher. I think you have to put him into Cy Young type talk. He's done a great job."

Cueto lowered his ERA to 2.28, close to the top in the National League.

The NL Central leaders, who had just five hits, won for the seventh time in eight games.

Trevor Bauer (1-2) surrendered only a hit, but walked five over three innings for the Diamondbacks, who consistently didn't come up with the clutch hit. They were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base.

Justin Upton and Willie Bloomquist both had two hits in Arizona's fourth defeat in five games.

The Reds manufactured a run in the first inning without getting a hit after Drew Stubbs walked and Zack Cozart reached safely on an error by shortstop Stephen Drew. With one out, Cozart and Stubbs executed a double steal. Bauer then uncorked a bouncer to the plate while walking Ludwick and the wild pitch allowed Stubbs to come home.

Arizona second baseman Aaron Hill then made a highlight play to end the frame. Scott Rolen lined a ball that deflected off Bauer and landed in the glove of a tumbling Hill, who then flipped the ball over his head to Drew. The return throw to first completed the double play.

Cozart walked with two outs in the third and advanced two bases thanks to an errant throw from Bauer on a pickoff attempt and then a wild pitch. After Brandon Phillips walked, Ludwick drilled a 1-0 offering into the second deck in left field.

Arizona wasted a chance with a pair of men on base in the fourth and came up empty after loading the bases in the fifth when Bloomquist flied out to right field.

It was the same story in the sixth when Gerardo Parra swung through a high 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded to end another threat.

Cueto was lifted after throwing 106 pitches and was replaced by Jose Arredondo.

Sean Marshall gave up a pair of singles in the ninth, but Aroldis Chapman fanned Hill to end the game on a 101 mph pitch to lock down his 14th save of the season.

"Their bullpen is one of the best in the National League," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said of the Reds. "We made it hard on ourselves tonight."

Game Notes

It was Cincinnati's 400th win at Great American Ball Park, where at least one home run has been hit in each of the last 70 games ... Reds first baseman Joey Votto had arthroscopic surgery Tuesday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list and will be sidelined for 3- to-4 weeks. The Reds recalled pitcher Todd Redmond from Triple-A Louisville ... Dusty Baker got his 373rd win as manager of the Reds, moving him alone into seventh place. Pete Rose is sixth with 412 victories.