Another shutout for Cueto, Reds earn split

JOE KAY AP Baseball Writer Published:

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Two shutouts. Three complete games. Best ERA in the majors. A start to the season unlike any other in more than 100 years.

Johnny Cueto is quickly compiling some really loud numbers.

Cueto pitched a three-hitter for his second shutout of the season, and Brandon Phillips hit a three-run homer and a double, leading the Cincinnati Reds over the San Diego Padres 5-0 on Thursday in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.

The Reds couldn't do anything on offense in the second game, managing only three hits while losing 6-1 for a split.

Cueto (4-2) lowered the majors' best ERA to 1.25 with his third complete game in nine starts.

Is he the best starter in the majors right now?

"I would say yes because the numbers talk and my numbers are going to talk for me," Cueto said, with assistant trainer Tomas Vera interpreting.

Here's some numbers to consider: Cueto is the first major league pitcher to go at least seven innings and allow two or fewer runs in each of his first nine starts since the Philadelphia Athletics' Harry Krause in 1909, according to information provided the Reds by the Elias Sports Bureau.

Also, he is the first Red to go at least seven innings in each of his first nine starts since Bucky Walters in 1944.

The most impressive part to the Reds is how he won't ease up even with a big lead like the one on Thursday.

San Diego came into the game last in the NL in batting average (.222) and runs (118). The Padres were blanked for the seventh time, the most in the majors. Cueto fanned eight, walked two and threw 116 pitches.

Phillips homered off Ian Kennedy (2-5) and Cozart singled home two runs, part of a three-hit game for the shortstop. Cozart snapped an 0-for-15 streak with runners in scoring position when he singled home two runs in the sixth.

YANKEES 1, METS 0

NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter watched the last four outs of his final regular-season Subway Series game from the bench, pulled off the field during a double switch in the bottom of the eighth inning of Yankees' victory.

Jeter left after an 0-for-4 night. The Yankees captain came out when Robertson entered to face Wright. Robertson pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save.

BREWERS 4, PIRATES 3

MILWAUKEE -- Khris Davis hit a game-ending two-run single and the Milwaukee Brewers rallied in the ninth off closer Mark Melancon.

Ryan Braun led off the inning by singling to right before Melancon (1-2) walked the next two hitters to load the bases with nobody out.

Reliever Rob Wooten (1-1) threw 11/3 scoreless innings.

GIANTS 6, MARLINS 4

SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey hit a go-ahead double as part of a three-run fifth inning and San Francisco held on to beat Miami.

Cain (1-3) earned his first win of the season despite another shaky outing at AT&T Park. The former San Francisco ace gave up two home runs and allowed all the Marlins' scoring in the first three innings before settling down to pitch into the eighth.

CARDINALS 5, CUBS 3

ST. LOUIS -- Michael Wacha pitched seven innings and drove in two runs for St. Louis.

Wacha (3-3) had lost his last three decisions since an April 13 win over the Cubs. The 22-year-old right-hander allowed seven hits, including a homer, but did not walk a batter. He struck out five.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

BLUE JAYS 4, INDIANS 2

TORONTO -- Edwin Encarnacion hit two home runs, Juan Francisco also connected and Toronto gave manager John Gibbons his 400th career win.

Encarnacion hit a solo homer in the second off Danny Salazar and added a two-run blast in the fifth off C.C. Lee. It was his second multihomer game of the season and the 13th of his career.

Two batters after Encarnacion's homer in the second, Francisco also went deep off Salazar (1-4) , who lost for the fourth time in seven starts.

David Murphy homered for the Indians, whose streak of series victories was snapped at three.

ANGELS 6, RAYS 5

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Mike Trout greeted Brad Boxberger with a three-run walkoff homer to cap a four-run ninth inning and give the Los Angeles Angels a 6-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series.

Fernando Salas (3-0) pitched a perfect inning to get the victory.

TWINS 4, RED SOX 3

MINNEAPOLIS -- Aaron Hicks delivered the game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th and Phil Hughes struck out eight in six innings to help Minnesota beat Boston in the series finale.

Clay Buchholz gave up three runs on 10 hits and struck out six in six innings for the Red Sox (20-20).

ORIOLES 2, ROYALS 1

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Nelson Cruz homered and Baltimore snapped a four-game losing streak to remain first in the AL East.

Royals rookie right-hander Yordano Ventura (2-3) struck out nine and walked one in 61/3 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits.

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