ST. LOUIS(AP) For the first time in nine starts,
fell short of seven innings. That was the only downside for the
Cueto (5-3) allowed a run in 6 1-3 innings to beat the St. Louis Cardinals for the second time in less than a month, and
homered twice with four RBIs in a 9-3 victory on Wednesday night.
''The night really started with Johnny,'' teammate
said. ''He pitched a lights-out game and we were behind him, catching the ball and hitting where they weren't.''
(4-4) was taken out with none out in the third inning complaining of tightness and pain in his right forearm. Lohse said cramping
and a burning sensation, which forced him to miss a turn in the rotation, returned after he made a diving stop to glove Cueto's
bunt for a hit to start the third.
He left after falling behind 3-1 in the count against the next batter, Jerry Hairston Jr.
''I was trying to make a play and just threw in an awkward motion that definitely re-aggravated it,'' Lohse said. ''After
that, I obviously couldn't pitch.''
Lohse was to undergo an MRI exam later Wednesday night.
''It's hard to force yourself to release it,'' Lohse said. ''It's hard to do the proper things that you need to do to get
the location and everything else. I felt like I was doing all right up until that point.''
Cueto's string of long starts included a seven-inning stint in which he gave up one run in a 6-4 victory over St. Louis on
May 8 in Cincinnati. Despite going deep into every game he had been 0-2 in his previous three starts.
He walked none for the third time and lowered his ERA to 2.43, among the league leaders.
''I was aggressive with all my pitches,'' Cueto said through an interpreter. ''That was the big difference.''
Nix homered in the second for the Reds' first run and added a three-run shot, his sixth of the season, off
in the eighth for a 7-1 cushion. He also made an outstanding leaping catch to rob
of extra bases and an RBI in the sixth.
''That kept them from getting a rally going,'' Nix said. ''That might have been as important as the second homer.''
Phillips was 3-for-5 with his 10th homer in the ninth, and stole second and third after his RBI single in the third. Those
were his first steals off strong-armed catcher
, although he said he was running off reliever
''That was the highlight of my day, honestly,'' Phillips said. ''You don't run off that dude. I was so glad (Boyer) had a
nice little leg kick, and I made it.''
Cueto ended the Reds' string of allowing a first-inning run in six straight games with the help of a leaping catch by Hairston
at third to rob leadoff hitter
. Before pinch hitter
and Ryan hit back-to-back doubles with one out in the seventh, the Cardinals had only two runners in scoring position.
Cueto's leadoff bunt single, his third bunt hit of the year and fourth hit overall, ignited a two-run third with both runs
unearned due to third baseman
's fielding error.
Boyer worked allowed one earned run in five innings, the longest by a Cardinal reliever since
also went five innings July 3, 2007 against Arizona.
Notes: Cardinals manager
Tony La Russa
has sued Twitter after an unknown user created an account in his name and pretended to post updates as him. ... Nix has four
career multihomer games, the last on May 12, 2004 against the Yankees. ... Hairston batted leadoff for the third time for
the Reds in place of
, still bothered by a tight right hamstring. ... The Reds are likely to recall LHP
from Triple-A Nashville to start Saturday in place of injured
. Maloney threw a shutout on Monday. ... Molina picked off
in the first, his fourth of the season and 30th of his career. ... The Reds'
was back in the cleanup spot after batting second one game. The shakeup didn't work - he was 0 for 4 with a walk that extended
his slump to 1 for 24 and dropped his average to .216.