Reds storm way past Pirates at PNC Park
Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton pitched well Tuesday, but Cincinnati Reds righty Johnny Cueto was even better.
Nearly perfect, in fact.
Cueto held the Pirates to one hit and faced just 28 batters in nine innings, as the Reds breezed to a 9-0 victory at PNC Park.
Ronny Cedeno was the Pirates' only baserunner. With one out in the third inning, he rolled a single into left field.
"I don't want to be selfish, but at least we put one hit out there," Cedeno said. "I didn't want him to throw a no-hitter."
In the sixth, Cedeno was hit by a pitch on the left wrist. Thinking his wrist was broken, Cedeno slammed his batting helmet as he was examined by a trainer.
Cedeno remained in the game and made two putouts over the final three innings. His wrist was heavily wrapped after the game, and he will be re-examined this morning.
"I hope it's not broken, but we don't know yet for sure," Cedeno said.
Cueto (2-1) needed just 102 pitches to notch his first complete game. It was the Reds' first complete-game one-hitter since Sept. 22, 1996.
"We have the type of offense that can have a big inning," Morton said. "But Cueto is a really good pitcher. He did basically what everybody knows works: He threw strikes, and he was aggressive."
Through the first two games of this series against the Reds — who went into last night's game with a team ERA of 5.15, third-worst in the National League — Pirates batters have totaled one run, six hits and 11 strikeouts.
"Nobody's really swinging the bat good right now," Pirates manager John Russell said. "We've got to find a way. We hit some balls decent but couldn't get anything out of it."
Cueto racked up eight strikeouts. Seven of his 22 career victories have come against the Pirates.
Morton (1-6) allowed three runs and seven hits, walked two and struck out one. He shaved another full point of his ERA, though it's still an unsightly 9.19.
The Reds got two runs off Morton in the first inning on Joey Votto's sacrifice fly and Scott Rolen's RBI double. In the sixth, Jay Bruce tripled and scored on Ramon Hernandez's two-out double.
"I thought Charlie threw a pretty good game," Russell said. "He did a good job of holding the damage down. When you can't score any runs for a guy, it's all kind of moot."
The Pirates' bullpen yielded five runs.
In the eighth, rookie Chris Heisey hit a two-run homer — the first of his career. Heisey, jubilant about his home run, came within two steps of sprinting past Cueto between third base and home plate.
The crowd was announced as 9,027, but less than a third of that was actually in the seats on a chilly, wet night.
The lowest single-game paid attendance at PNC Park is 8,201, set April 25, 2007 — a 16-inning win against Houston. The smallest crowd last season was 8,482 for the May 4 game against Milwaukee.