Johnny Cueto got the better of the St. Louis Cardinals team he kicked around the last time they met, taking a shutout into the eighth inning Saturday during Cincinnati's 7-3 victory that moved the Reds back into first place in the NL Central.
Ramon Hernandez hit solo homers on each of the first two pitches he saw from Kyle McClellan (5-1). Brandon Phillips drove in three runs for the Reds.
The defending NL Central champions moved into first place alone for the first time since April 18.
Cueto (2-0) and Phillips were the central figures in a brawl last Aug. 10 ignited by the second baseman's inflammatory comments. Cueto slashed two Cardinals with his cleats and got a seven-game suspension. He hadn't faced them since.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)