Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Johnny Cueto pitched a three-hit shutout to lead the Cincinnati Reds over the San Diego Padres 5-0 in the opener of a doubleheader on Thursday at Great American Ball Park.
Cueto (4-2) struck out eight and walked just two in picking up his third complete game and second shutout of the season. The right-hander has gone at least seven innings and allowed two or fewer runs in all nine of his starts this season, becoming the first pitcher since the Philadelphia Athletics' Harry Krause accomplished the feat in 1909. He's tossed at least eight innings his last six trips to the mound.
His effort today dropped his league-leading ERA from 1.43 to 1.25.
Brandon Phillips contributed a three-run homer, ending 2-for-5, and Zack Cozart finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored for the Reds, who won for just the third time in seven games.
Will Venable, Everth Cabrera and Seth Smith had the only hits for the Padres, who had a four-game win streak halted.
San Diego starting pitcher Ian Kennedy (2-5) suffered the loss, allowing five runs on 11 hits over six innings. He got off to a great start, striking out four and walking one, but hit a wall in the middle innings.
Kennedy matched Cueto's zeros through four innings, but ran into trouble with two outs in the fifth. With a runner on, Skip Schumaker singled to right to put runners on the corners for Phillips, who followed with a blast to left that cleared the wall for a 3-0 cushion.
The Reds added two more runs off Kennedy in the sixth when Cozart singled home Ryan Ludwick and Brayan Pena.
Cueto, meanwhile, was cruising. After allowing a bunt single to Venable to start the game, he retired the next nine batters. Later, he retired eight in a row before allowing a Smith single with one out in the seventh.
Cueto ended the game by retiring eight of the last nine batters, as he faced just two over the minimum for the game. Venable walked with two outs in the ninth and became the first Padres runner to reach second when he advanced on a catcher's indifference.
Wednesday's scheduled game was needed after Wednesday's game was rained out ... Prior to the game, the Reds recalled pitcher Jeff Francis from Triple-A Louisville. Francis will start game two of the doubleheader ... To make room for Francis the Reds optioned pitcher Nick Christiani to Louisville and moved pitcher Matt Latos to the 60-day disabled list ... During the game, the Padres announced that they traded outfielder Kyle Blanks to the Oakland A's for minor league outfielder Jake Goebbert and a player to be named later or cash.