CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Johnny Cueto picked up his 20th win of the season for the Reds on Sunday beating the Pirates 4-1. Cueto finishes the season 20-9.
Cueto becomes the first Reds right-hander to hit that mark since Jim Maloney had 20 wins and Sammy Ellis had 22 during the 1965 season. Cueto becomes the Reds first 20-game winner since Danny Jackson won 23 games in 1988.
"I feel happy to win my 20 games, of course," added Cueto. "All I asked was to stay healthy and keep my team together. I hope we can come back, keep doing this and go to the playoffs.
Cueto went eight innings, giving up one run on six hits, finishing with seven strikesouts and a 2.25 ERA. Pirates' Neil Walker got the lone hit off a home run in the top of the fourth inning.
Despite a 1-1 tie in the 8th inning, Reds manager Bryan Price allowed Johnny Cueto to bat with the go-ahead runner on third. Cueto delivered the go-ahead hit.
"The most important guy for me today was Johnny Cueto getting a chance at 20 (wins)," said Price. "We could've had a pinch hitter go up there and hit an absolute missile at an infielder again…and not score that run and forfeit the opportunity for Johnny to pitch the ninth and still win 20."
Cueto was asked about the at bat in the Reds clubhouse after the game.
"I don't understand that at bat," Cueto joked via a translator. "I told my manager I want to hit and he gave me the confidence to do it. So, I went in there and hit, got the hit, but I still don't understand it."