Recap Toronto at Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Johnny Cueto lowered his MLB-leading ERA in helping the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Cueto (7-5) tossed eight innings and allowed three runs -- one earned -- on seven hits with eight strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 1.86 on the season. Cueto's performance came following Mike Leake's performance from Saturday where he allowed a run over eight effective innings.
"Leaker (Leake) and Johnny (Cueto) really picked up our bullpen," Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Todd Frazier homered and Jay Bruce knocked in a run for the Reds, who have won eight of their last 11 games.
Toronto starter R.A. Dickey (6-6) was nearly up to the task in opposing Cueto, hurling 7 2/3 innings and surrendering four runs -- three earned -- on nine hits with seven punchouts in the setback.
Colby Rasmus collected two RBI and Edwin Encarnacion added a solo home run for Toronto, which has dropped five of its last six.
"You get what you deserve, and that's what we got on this road trip," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
The loss may have come at a cost for the Blue Jays, who saw Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie exit the game with injuries.
Frazier broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth with a two-run homer that just snuck over the wall in right and scored Cueto, who singled on a bunt to begin the frame.
Encarnacion smacked his third homer of the series and 24th of the season to lead off the eighth, trimming the deficit to 4-3. Cueto, however, struck out Rasmus and Juan Francisco around a Steve Tolleson pop up to protect the lead.
Aroldis Chapman entered in the ninth and sat the Jays down in order for his 13th save of the season.
Frazier reached on a force out after Skip Schumaker was hit by a pitch to start the game. Joey Votto then struck out before Encarnacion committed an error to keep the inning alive.
Francisco made a nice play on a slow roller from Brandon Phillips, whipping a low throw over to Encarnacion, who could not make the catch.
Bruce followed with a single to right that scored Frazier, but Bautista gunned down Phillips advancing to third to end the frame.
Munenori Kawasaki reached on a throwing error by Votto, and Melky Cabrera poked a single into right to put runners on first and second with no outs in the third. Another error, this time by Cueto, on a sacrifice bunt by Bautista loaded the bases.
Bautista left the game later in the inning after pulling up lame when he reached first, grasping at the back of his knee in pain. He was diagnosed with right hamstring tightness and will be reevaluated on Monday.
Cueto got Encarnacion to softly pop out to Zack Cozart in shallow left, but Colby Rasmus grounded a single through the hole on the right side that plated Kawasaki and Cabrera and give the visitors a 2-1 edge.
Tolleson, who entered the game after Lawrie was hit by a pitch in his hand the second inning, grounded into a double play to end the threat.
X-rays on Lawrie revealed a broken right index finger that will likely require a stint on the disabled list.
Cincinnati tied the game up at 2-2 in the fourth, however, Dickey maneuvered out of early trouble to keep the damage minimal.
Bruce led off the inning with a double to right center, then trotted over to third on Ryan Ludwick's single. Dickey induced a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Brayan Pena as Bruce crossed home, then struck out Cozart to conclude the fourth.