National League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, May 15th (All times Eastern)
Cincinnati Reds (18-16) at Atlanta Braves (22-14), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cincinnati - Johnny Cueto (4-0, 1.12) Atlanta - Tim Hudson (1-1, 4.50)
(Sports Network) - Early-season ace Johnny Cueto can continue a career-best start and get the Reds a step closer to a division lead tonight when Cincinnati closes out a quick two-game series with the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.
The Reds opened the series with a win on Monday, when Brandon Phillips hit a go-ahead RBI double in the top of the eighth in a 3-1 victory.
It was 1-1 entering the eighth when Phillips launched a slider from Jonny Venters (2-2) off the wall in center field, plating Drew Stubbs, who reached on an infield single to start the inning.
"To tell you the truth, I'm just happy that I hit the ball out of the infield," Phillips said. "(Reds beat writer) John Fay knows when I know I hit a home run, I will pimp it, so I sure didn't pimp that one."
Phillips came around to score on a double from Chris Heisey, who finished the game with three hits, and Sean Marshall shut the door in the ninth for his sixth save of the season as the Reds won their second straight.
Logan Ondrusek (3-0) got the victory after recording the final out of the seventh for starter Homer Bailey, who allowed one run on six hits and two walks.
Atlanta starter Randall Delgado received a no-decision after tossing 6 2/3 innings and giving up just one unearned run on four hits and three walks. Martin Prado finished with two hits and plated the only run for the Braves, who were coming off a three-game sweep of St. Louis over the weekend.
Cincinnati moved within 1 1/2 games of the Cardinals in the National League Central Division, while the Braves dropped a one-half game behind Washington atop the league's East Division.
Cueto, a 26-year-old Dominican, is unbeaten through his first seven starts of 2012 and has allowed two runs or less in all but one.
He tossed a complete game in defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates for his last victory on May 4 and has started once since - picking up a no-decision in the Reds' 2-1 win at Milwaukee on May 9.
In 48 1/3 composite innings, he's allowed 39 hits, six earned runs and eight walks while striking out 31 and limiting opposing batters to a .221 average.
Cincinnati is 6-1 in games he's pitched.
Cueto has split a pair of decisions in four career starts against the Braves.
Atlanta counters with veteran righty Tim Hudson, who was drafted by the Oakland Athletics when Cueto was 11 years old and debuted in the majors when he was 13.
Now 36, Hudson, a native Georgian, has won double-digit games in each of his full seasons in the big leagues, including a career-best 20-6 mark with the Athletics in 2000.
He's been in Atlanta since 2005 and has won between 11 and 17 games each season - including a 16-10 mark with a 3.22 earned run average in 33 starts in 2011.
Hudson has made three starts thus far in 2012 and has split two decisions while allowing 17 hits and nine earned runs in 18 innings.
He's 3-1 in six lifetime meetings with the Reds.
Cincinnati and Atlanta split six matchups a season ago.
05/15 10:35:11 ET