Johnny Cueto suffered his first loss of the season his last time out and will try to get back on track Friday when the Cincinnati Reds open a three-game series against the Texas Rangers in Arlington.
Cueto was hammered in an 11-5 loss at Arizona last Friday and allowed seven runs and 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings. He entered the contest 4-0 with a 2.08 earned run average in his first seven starts and now his ERA is 3.21.
"Things did not all go well," Cueto said through a translator. "Like we say, it's just one outing -- and a bad outing. I have a lot more outings coming. I just have to keep my head up and continue going."
The right-handed Cueto has never faced Texas and is 2-1 with a 4.57 ERA in four road outings this season.
Cincinnati could use a solid outing from Cueto and has lost two straight and five of six games. The Reds were swept in a brief two-game series at the hands of the Oakland Athletics and dropped a 5-0 decision on Wednesday, as A's hurler A.J. Griffin hurled a two-hit shutout and struck out seven.
"That's the first time we've seen him. He was very impressive," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He was throwing the ball to all four quadrants. ... There was a 20-22 mph differential between his fastball and breaking ball and changeup. He had us eating out of his hand today."
Xavier Paul and Devin Mesoraco recorded the hits for Cincinnati, which is 1-4 on an eight-game road trip and 3 1/2 games behind Pittsburgh and St. Louis for the NL Central lead.
Meanwhile, the Rangers won their three-game series at Yankee Stadium and recorded a 2-0 win in Thursday's series finale.
Rangers starter Derek Holland tossed a two-hit shutout and struck out seven batters to run his record to 6-4 and lift his team to its eighth win in 10 tries.
"I haven't had much success against these guys. So, you think positive thoughts. You can't let any negativity creep in," Holland said. "
Jurickson Profar hit a solo homer, Engel Beltre added two hits and Ian Kinsler drove in the other run for the Rangers, who completed their trip with a 5-1 record.
The Rangers will begin a nine-game homestand Friday versus Cincinnati, Seattle and Houston, and own a one-half game lead over Oakland in the AL West.
Martin Perez will make his third start of the season for Texas on Friday and he debuted on May 27 in a 5-3 loss at Arizona. Perez gave up four runs -- three earned -- and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings for the loss and last toed the rubber in Saturday's 4-2 win at St. Louis.
Perez lasted seven innings against the Cardinals, who could only muster two runs and five hits. The left-handed Perez will make his first home start of the season and has never faced Cincinnati.
Texas and Cincinnati haven't met since 2007, when the Rangers took two of three encounters in Ohio. The Reds lost a three-game series in the Lone Star State back in 2002.