SEATTLE (AP) — Cliff Lee struck out seven in a six-hitter and the Seattle Mariners beat Cincinnati 1-0 on Friday night to knock the Reds out of first place in the NL Central.
Lee (5-3) earned his fifth career shutout and first since Sept. 15 for Philadelphia against Washington. It came against the only team with four regulars batting above .300 entering the day.
The left-hander, who won the 2008 AL Cy Young Award with Cleveland, also lowered his ERA to 2.55 with his 16th career complete game.
Josh Wilson hit an RBI single in the sixth for Seattle, which won for just the fourth time in 14 games.
Johnny Cueto (6-2) allowed four hits in 5 2-3 innings for Cincinnati, which lost for the fifth time in seven games. The right-hander, who threw 115 pitches, had won his last six decisions.
The Reds fell a half-game back of St. Louis, which beat Oakland 6-4, and dropped to 13-33 on the West Coast over the last four years.
Cueto got into trouble after he hit Jose Lopez with a two-strike pitch in the sixth. Lopez advanced on Franklin Gutierrez's hit before scoring on a close play when Wilson lined a single up the middle.
Center fielder Chris Heisey's throw was on a line but slightly up the third-base line. That allowed Lopez to twist around and clear Corky Miller's tag attempt as he slid across the plate.
Daniel Ray Herrera then came in and struck out pinch-hitter Mike Sweeney to end the inning.
Lee retired 12 consecutive batters before Orlando Cabrera singled with two out in the eighth. Cabrera advanced when Lee skipped a curveball for a wild pitch, but Brandon Phillips grounded out to end the inning.
Lee's contract ends after this season and Seattle, 15 games under .500, could decide to trade the ace to a contender to add some prospects to its farm system.
The Reds had a bit of bad luck. They sent three drives went to the warning track, including a third-inning double by Phillips that banged off the wall in left-center. Lee got Joey Votto to fly out to the track to end that threat.
Lee has pitched at least seven innings in 10 of his 11 starts this season.
The Reds are visiting Seattle for the first time since 2007. Ken Griffey Jr., who played for Cincinnati in between stints with the Mariners, retired last month, robbing this series of its main attraction.
But a dual bobblehead giveaway featuring Junior and Ichiro Suzuki did attract 43,362 fans to Safeco Field. It was Seattle's largest crowd outside of opening day.
NOTES: The Mariners signed their top draft choice, high school RHP Taijuan Walker. The 17-year-old Walker was the 43th overall pick. ... The Reds scratched C Ramon Hernandez with lower back pain. ... New Seahawks coach Pete Carroll greeted Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu and Reds counterpart Dusty Baker behind the batting cage before the game. He joined Sweeney for a pregame presentation for prostate cancer awareness.