Cueto eyes 17th win in the desert

Published August 28, 2012

| Sports Network

Johnny Cueto may have trouble matching teammate Bronson Arroyo's efforts at the plate from Monday's opener, but as far as his work on the mound, Cincinnati should have no worries.

Cueto aims to become baseball's first 17-game winner on Tuesday evening when the Reds continue a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks and talented rookie Wade Miley.

The right-handed Cueto has won his last two decisions, as well as seven of eight, but did not factor into a 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. He yielded two runs on five hits and three walks over five-plus innings, leaving with a lead his bullpen failed to hold.

Cueto did post his shortest outing of this season since a 4 2/3-inning loss to the Colorado Rockies on May 25, but still leads the NL with a 2.47 earned run average to compliment his 16-6 mark.

He is one of five 16-game winners in the majors and only the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's Jered Weaver goes after win No. 17 tonight as well.

The 26-year-old Cueto has a good chance of at least staying tied for the major league-lead in wins given that he is 4-0 with a 1.45 ERA in five lifetime encounters with the Diamondbacks. That includes a win on July 17 in which he hurled six scoreless innings of four-hit ball, also scattering four walks in the 4-0 win.

The Reds seek a second straight win after taking Monday's opener 3-2 thanks to instant replay.

With the game tied at 2-2 in the sixth inning, Arroyo hit an offering deep to left field and pulled up with a double. However, a review saw the umpires rule that the ball actually hit off the railing above the wall and Arroyo was awarded his sixth homer of the season.

"We knew that ball ricocheted too hard to hit off the wall," said Reds manager Dusty Baker, whose club was coming off a series loss to the Cardinals.

On the mound, Arroyo stranded a runner on third in the bottom half of the sixth and watched his bullpen set down the final nine batters in succession to secure the victory. Arroyo was charged with two runs on five hits and one walk to get the win.

Aroldis Chapman closed out the win and set a franchise record by converting his 24th consecutive save opportunity. His feat kept the Reds six games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in the NL central.

Arizona's Tyler Skaggs, in his second career start, allowed three runs -- two earned -- on five hits and two walks over 5 2/3 innings for Arizona, which lost its fourth straight and fell to 2-6 on its 10-game homestand.

Justin Upton hit a solo homer in the second inning and helped the Diamondbacks tie it in the fourth with an RBI single.

NL Rookie of the Year candidate Miley tries to win three straight starts tonight for the first time since May.

The 25-year-old southpaw beat the Houston Astros with six innings of one-run ball on Aug. 17, then followed up with eight scoreless innings to beat the Miami Marlins on Wednesday. Miley scattered four hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

"He threw his pitches with a ton of conviction," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said.

Miley moved to 14-8 with a 2.80 ERA on the season and faced the Reds for the first time in his career on July 16. He picked up a victory, allowing three runs over 5 2/3 frames.

The D-Backs and Reds split a four-game series in Cincinnati from July 16-19.

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/08/28/cueto-eyes-17th-win-in-desert/