Cueto battles through back pain as Reds top Diamondbacks

Let me preface this post by saying I am not predicting a championship. I am not even saying this Reds team is bound for the playoffs. However, a game like last night is one that Reds teams of the past do not win.

Was it Dusty Baker holding a team meeting that made the difference?

Johnny Cueto started for the Reds and struggled with his control, walking four in the first two innings. He was also bothered by a stiff back, but evidently stretching after the second inning with the strength and conditioning coordinator help immensely.

Cueto went on to retire the next twelve batters in a row. He left a scoreless game after the sixth inning, allowing the Diamondbacks just one hit and striking out eight.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth, the Reds had a chance offensively with Chris Dickerson at second base and one out. They also had the right man at the plate. Joey Votto blooped a single to center, scoring Dickerson, and giving Cueto the opportunity to pick up the victory.

Have I mentioned how great it is to have Votto back in the lineup?

Arthur Rhodes made it interesting in the seventh. He allowed the first two batters to reach base. A sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third with one out. Rhodes then struck out Ryan Roberts before allowing a walk to Tony Clark that loaded the bases. Felipe Lopez flied out to right to end the inning.

David Weathers pitched a scoreless eighth. Francisco Cordero did the same in the ninth, earning his 19th save of the season.

The 1-0 win evened the series at a game apiece, making today’s game the rubber match. It will be Doug Davis (3-8, 3.28) against Aaron Harang (5-8, 3.95).

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