You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Reds have faith in Cueto, who gets Wild Card start

Johnny Cueto conducted a pregame interview Sunday steps away from a sign Reds players see every time they walk up the dugout steps: “Expect to win.”

Despite a horrendous final homestand, which concluded with a 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday at Great American Ball Park, that expectation remains for the Reds. They will turn to Cueto at 8:07 p.m. Tuesday in Pittsburgh in the National League Wild card playoff game, hoping to put a five-game losing streak behind them. Tuesday’s winner will play on the road against the Cardinals in the NL Division Series on Thursday.

Two pitchers who grew up 60 miles apart in the Dominican Republic, Cueto and the Pirates’ Francisco Liriano, will take the mound with two long-suffering fan bases behind them. The Reds haven’t won a postseason series in 18 years. The Pirates’ drought stretches to 1979.

It’s a big game for the Reds and also for Cueto. Realizing the significance of the game, Cueto had a special message for his home country.

“I want to tell my people in the Dominican Republic to follow this game,” Cueto said. “There’s two Dominicans on the mound. I want to give advice to all the youth. You have to work hard and continue working hard to do things like this.”

Cueto was named the starter Saturday when Mat Latos informed pitching coach Bryan Price that his arm was hurting — or “barking,” as Reds manager Dusty Baker described it. The opportunity gives Cueto the chance to redeem himself after leaving the first game of the 2012 playoffs, a Division Series game against the Giants, with back spasms.

Latos came to the rescue in that game, pitching four innings of relief off the bench. Now it’s Cueto being called on to replace Latos. Cueto is 5-2 with a 2.82 ERA in a season that has featured three trips to the disabled list. He’s 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA in two starts since returning from the DL on Sept. 16.

“We’ve got full faith in Johnny Cueto,” Baker said. “Hopefully, this works out fine. We win Tuesday, and Latos comes back to be ready Thursday. If not, we’ll go in a different direction.”

Baker said Latos suggested he could pitch in relief Tuesday if needed. Baker didn’t like that idea.

“I’m going to suggest that he’s not on the roster at all in that first game,” Baker said. “We’ll put him on the roster if he shows marked improvement once we get to Atlanta or St. Louis.”

Cingrani update: Baker said the Reds may send injured starter Tony Cingrani to Arizona to get some work, just in case he might be called upon to pitch in the postseason. Cingrani hasn’t pitched since Sept. 10 because of a back injury.

“He could probably go a couple of innings (Sunday),” Baker said, “but it’s not fair to him or us for him to go more than that. He’s too valuable to our future.”

Final stats: Jay Bruce fell two doubles short of becoming the 45th player in Major League history with at least 45 doubles, 30 home runs and 100 RBIs in a season. Bruce finished with a career-high 43 doubles, 30 home runs and a career-high 109 RBIs. He also struck out a career-high 184 times.

Joey Votto became the first Red to appear in all 162 games since Aaron Boone in 2002. He reached base 316 times, a Reds record.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Reds prospect, former Dayton Dragon pitches perfect game
Reds prospect, former Dayton Dragon pitches perfect game

Former Dayton Dragons right-hander Tyler Mahle, who went into the 2017 season ranked by Baseball America as the 12th-best prospect in the Cincinnati Reds farm system, showed why on Saturday. Mahle, Cincinnati’s seventh-round pick in the June 2013 draft, threw a perfect game for Double-A Pensacola in a 1-0 Blue Wahoos win over the Mobile BayBears...
H.S. Results for 4/22: St. Henry coach gets 500th win

John Dorner, in his 28th season as head baseball coach of St. Henry, won his 500th career game in a 12-2 contest over Fort Jennings on Saturday. Ryan Luttmer was 4-for-4 with three doubles and six RBI and Rylee Deitsch was 4-for-4 with a triple and three RBI to lead St. Henry at the plate. On the mound Daylon Lange scattered four hits over four innings...
Baseball: Loss to Tipp leaves Kenton Ridge eager for rematch
Baseball: Loss to Tipp leaves Kenton Ridge eager for rematch

Kenton Ridge’s chances of a No. 1 seed in the Division II sectional tournament draw are likely gone due to a 9-0 loss to Tippecanoe on Saturday at Tom Randall Field. That didn’t upset Kenton Ridge coach Aaron Shaffer, though. Instead, Shaffer is confident his team will learn from Saturday’s mistakes and be ready for a rematch against...
New Southeastern football coach Payton Printz: ‘I can’t wait’
New Southeastern football coach Payton Printz: ‘I can’t wait’

A familiar name has returned to Ohio Heritage Conference football. But instead of continuing a successful run at Triad, Payton Printz will be hoping to do the same at Southeastern High School. Printz recently was approved by the Southeastern Local School District to be its football coach. He succeeds Greg Bonifay, who resigned earlier this spring to...
Powell looking to “move forward” after being renewed as Dunbar coach
Powell looking to “move forward” after being renewed as Dunbar coach

Darran Powell has been renewed as the Dunbar High School football coach. His status as coach had been under scrutiny since a series of events last season ultimately led to one of the harshest penalties in Ohio High School Athletic Association history. Powell, a Dunbar graduate, told his returning players on Thursday his coaching contract for the upcoming...
More Stories