Reds' Cueto eyes 12th win, sweep of Brewers

Staff ace Johnny Cueto can equal his career high in victories and give Cincinnati a series sweep today, when the Reds host the Milwaukee Brewers in the finale of a three-game set at Great American Ball Park.

Cincinnati won its second straight over the Brewers and seventh of nine since the All-Star break on Saturday, when Brandon Phillips and Ryan Ludwick each hit two-run home runs in a 6-2 triumph.

Jay Bruce and Scott Rolen also knocked in runs for the Reds.

Bronson Arroyo (5-6) allowed two runs on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts over six innings to earn the win, which kept the Reds a half-game ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League's Central Division.

Yovani Gallardo (8-7) surrendered four runs on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings for Milwaukee, which has dropped four of its last seven.

"I thought he came out throwing the ball well, but all of a sudden you have got people on base and they're scoring runs," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.

Cueto, who won 12 games in his third big-league season in 2010, got to No. 11 in his initial start since representing the Reds in the All-Star Game, tossing six innings of scoreless, four-hit ball while beating Arizona, 4-0, on July 17.

The win was a second in a row for the streaky Cueto, who won four straight starts between June 6-23 before dropping consecutive starts on June 28 and July 3.

He last faced the Brewers in his seventh start of the season back on May 9 at Miller Park and tossed seven scoreless innings in a game the Reds ultimately won, 2-1.

The Reds are 13-6 in games he's pitched this season and Cueto is 6-1 in eight starts at home.

Milwaukee counters with young righty Michael Fiers, who faces the Reds for the first time in his 12th big-league appearance.

The native of Hollywood, Fla. debuted in the majors with two innings of relief in two games last season and has made eight starts in nine appearances this year since May 29.

He improved to 3-1 on the year with six scoreless innings and 10 strikeouts against Arizona on June 30, but is 0-1 in two tough-luck July starts while allowing just two runs on 11 hits in 14 1/3 innings against Miami and St. Louis.

In fact, in his six appearances since early June, Fiers has given up just three runs on 22 hits in 35 2/3 innings. In his first three outings of the year, he allowed nine runs in 18 innings.

The Reds have won six of eight games between the teams in 2012, including two of three at Milwaukee in May and two of three in Cincinnati in June. The Brewers haven't won the season series since 2006.