Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Reds 4, Pirates 1 Johnny on Spot This Time Unlike in Playoff, Pirates Mostly Unsuccessful against Cueto

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Reds 4, Pirates 1 Johnny on Spot This Time Unlike in Playoff, Pirates Mostly Unsuccessful against Cueto

Article excerpt

Not a soul in Pittsburgh could have predicted Edinson Volquez would be the pitcher to go toe-to-toe with Johnny Cueto in an April meeting at PNC Park.

The zeros lined up one after the other on the scoreboard in left field Tuesday night until the Reds broke open the pitchers' duel in the seventh inning.

The Reds peppered four hits off Volquez in the seventh to take a two-run lead and went on to collect a 4-1 win behind a masterful complete-game win by Cueto.

Cueto, infamously chided with chants of "Cue-to, Cue-to" in his wild-card playoff loss against the Pirates in October, has put that night far behind him.

He held the Pirates to three hits after notching a career-high 12 strikeouts against them in a complete-game, 4-0 shutout Thursday in Cincinnati.

"It was his ability to locate on both sides of the plate and to mix his pitches. He didn't really have any patterns and wasn't very predictable out there," said Pirates catcher Russell Martin.

"He just didn't make many mistakes over the heart of the plate. He was making quality pitches and getting ahead."

Cueto retired Neil Walker to start the ninth before Andrew McCutchen broke his career-high scoreless inning streak at 21 with a first-pitch home run to right. He threw 117 total pitches, and 73 for strikes.

"When you make pitches and have that kind of control, it's a challenge. We've got to try something different next time," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.

"To right-handed hitters [he would] use that two-seamer, then he would throw the cutter in, and it would come back over the plate. Left-handers he was able to do the same thing, the cutter in and the hip-shot back. ... He's not really a guy when he's throwing strikes you can wait out. He's just been really, really tough. Not just on us, but we've seen him back to back in a very good place for him."

Cueto and Volquez are good friends and go back several years together to when Cueto was pitching fourth in Cincinnati's starting rotation and Volquez fifth. …

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