for this game

Reds send Cueto to the hill to face Pirates

May 19, 2011 - 2:37 PM (Sports Network) - Dominican-born right-hander Johnny Cueto can keep his Cincinnati Reds atop the National League's Central Division today when they host the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second game of a brief two-game series at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds entered Wednesday's opener on a five-game win streak and with a 1 1/2-game lead over St. Louis in the division, but saw Charlie Morton toss his second career shutout, leading the Pirates to a 5-0 victory.

Morton (5-1) allowed five hits and two walks while striking out five as the Pirates ended a season-high six-game losing streak.

Of Morton's three career complete games, two have come this season at Great American Ball Park.

Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen provided the offense with three- and two- run homers, respectively.

Bronson Arroyo (3-4) took the loss for the Reds, who had a five-game winning streak snapped. In seven innings, Arroyo surrendered all five of Pittsburgh's runs, allowing seven hits.

Meanwhile, St. Louis was defeating Houston, 5-1, to trim the divisional margin to a half-game.

Cueto, who began the season on the disabled list, has been stellar in two starts since returning, allowing no earned runs in 13 2/3 innings with nine strikeouts and three walks.

He gave up five hits in a 2-0 blanking of the Chicago Cubs on May 8 at Wrigley Field, then followed it with a 7-3 defeat of the Cardinals six days later in which he gave up three unearned runs on three hits in 7 2/3 innings.

The 25-year-old is coming off the best of his three big-league seasons, in which he went 12-7 for the Reds with a 3.64 earned run average across 185 2/3 innings in 31 starts.

He is 9-2 lifetime against Pittsburgh in 13 outings.

The Pirates go with righty James McDonald, who dropped an 11-2 decision to Cincinnati in his initial career start against the Reds on April 16 in Ohio.

In that game, McDonald was roughed up for nine hits and seven runs in just 4 1/3 innings, raising his ERA at the time from 5.56 to 7.47.

He was beaten, 9-5, at Florida one start later as the ERA swelled to a season- high 10.12.

He's won two of three decisions in four starts since while allowing seven runs on 18 hits in 22 innings.

Overall against the Reds, McDonald is 1-1 in four lifetime appearances with a 6.48 ERA in 8 1/3 innings.

Today's game will be his 25th start in the big leagues.

Pittsburgh took three of four from the Reds earlier in the season.


    May 19 3:41 PM

  • Jay Bruce lead off Home Run 2 (10) to left. Miguel Cairo due up.

    Pirates 5, Reds 3  Bot 9, 0 OutsMay 19 3:36 PM

  • Joey Votto singled to center scored Chris Heisey. Runner on first with two outs and Brandon Phillips due up.

    Pirates 5, Reds 2  Bot 8, 2 OutsMay 19 3:22 PM

  • Andrew McCutchen doubled to left scored Pedro Alvarez. On the play, Ronny Cedeno advances to third. Runners on second and third with one out and Xavier Paul due up.

    Pirates 5, Reds 1  Top 8, 1 OutMay 19 3:04 PM

  • Ryan Doumit lead-off Home Run (4) to left. Pedro Alvarez due up.

    Pirates 4, Reds 1  Top 6, 0 OutsMay 19 2:17 PM

  • Neil Walker doubled to center scored Xavier Paul and Garrett Jones. Runner on second with two outs and Lyle Overbay due up.

    Pirates 3, Reds 1  Top 5, 2 OutsMay 19 2:00 PM
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    Pirates 3, Reds 1  Top 5, 2 OutsMay 19 2:00 PM

  • Xavier Paul singled to right scored Andrew McCutchen. Runner on second with two outs and Garrett Jones due up.

    Pirates 1, Reds 1  Top 5, 2 OutsMay 19 1:55 PM
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    Pirates 1, Reds 1  Top 5, 2 OutsMay 19 1:53 PM
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    Pirates 0, Reds 1  End 4May 19 1:47 PM

  • Jay Bruce lead-off Home Run (9) to right center. Miguel Cairo due up.

    Pirates 0, Reds 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsMay 19 1:17 PM

    Top 1, 0 Outs

    May 19 12:37 PM
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    Pirates vs. RedsMay 19 6:01 AM
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    Pirates vs. RedsApr 18 6:01 AM