CINCINNATI (AP) - Johnny Cueto missed the beginning of the
season with an injury. Now he's hurt again.
The major league ERA leader left the Cincinnati Reds' 7-2 win
over the Chicago Cubs after 3 2-3 innings Wednesday night because
of a strained muscle in the upper right side of his back.
"I wanted to stay in but it was sore and painful," Cueto said.
"I hope I don't have to miss an outing after I'm examined
Ramon Hernandez hit a three-run homer in the second inning to
back Cueto, who lowered his ERA to 2.31. Cueto was visited by a
trainer and pitching coach Bryan Price with one out in the fourth
inning. After getting Alfonso Soriano to pop out, trainer Steve
Bauman and Dusty Baker went to the mound.
"I felt it pop on the pitch to Soriano," Cueto said.
Baker then removed Cueto.
""He said he felt OK, but then threw a 94 mph pitch to
Soriano, but I saw him grimace," the manager said. "He didn't
want to come out, but we want to do what's best for him in the long
Cueto, who allowed three hits, didn't make his first start of
the season until May 8 because of irritation in his right upper
He is six innings short of qualifying for the ERA title and is
just ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw, who began
the night at 2.36. Baker said the injury was a strained latissimus
"If it was in the joint I would be something different," Baker
said. "Hopefully he can get two more starts."
Inheriting a 5-0 lead, Sam LeCure (1-1) pitched 2 1-3 innings
for the win. He allowed a pair of sixth-inning runs when Carlos
Pena hit an RBI double and scored on Alfonso Soriano's groundout.
Casey Coleman (2-8) gave up six runs, six hits and three walks
in 3 2-3 innings. Since winning at Florida on May 19, he is 0-5
with a 7.98 ERA in eight big league starts and two relief
appearances, a span that included three trips to the minor leagues.
"I didn't have command," Coleman said. "I felt like I didn't
know how to pitch. I had a base open with (Juan) Francisco up. I've
faced him in the minor leagues and he hit me pretty good. I've got
to be able to pitch around him there."
Francisco hit a two-run single for a 5-0 lead in the third. The
third baseman also turned in a defensive gem, throwing out Marlon
Byrd out from foul territory in the ninth inning.
"You practice that every day," Francisco said. "I watch Scott
Rolen who has seven or eight Gold Gloves."
Hernandez's 12th homer of the season but first since Aug. 5 put
Cincinnati ahead. Chris Heisey added a solo homer in the eighth off
Ramon Ortiz, his 16th.
NOTES: Cubs SS Starlin Castro, who had his career-high 13-game
hitting streak stopped on Tuesday, went 2-for-3 to extend to 27 his
streak of consecutive games in which he's reached base at least
once. ... RHP Randy Wells, scheduled to start for Chicago in
Thursday's series finale, has won a career-high five straight
decisions. He is 5-0 with a 3.02 ERA over his last eight starts.
... RHP Homer Bailey, Cincinnati's scheduled starter, has an 8-7
record, but the Reds are 9-10 in his starts.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)