video thumbnail

CIN@PIT: Cueto goes the distance against the Pirates

A pitchers' duel could be in store during Wednesday's series finale between the Reds and the Brewers.

Milwaukee's Zack Greinke will oppose Johnny Cueto of the Reds and both will enter the game with some impressive numbers.

Greinke takes a 13-game home winning streak into the start, but is coming off his second-shortest stint of the season where he lasted just 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision to the Giants. He will need to be at his best to beat his counterpart.

Cueto threw a complete game, allowing just one run in his last outing and has the second best ERA in the Major Leagues at 1.31.

"When you're out there with Cueto, you know you have a chance to win every time," Reds outfielder Jay Bruce said following Cueto's last start. "He's your guy you give the ball to and say 'Look, win us a game.', And he did a great job tonight, and it's definitely easier when you've got a guy out there like that just cruising through guys."

Greinke, 3-1 with 4.13 ERA, will be looking to rebound after cruising in his last outing before getting chased in the sixth inning.

"That stuff happens to me too much," Greinke said. "I just have to make better pitches, because most pitchers can get out of that stuff, and I didn't. [Kameron Loe] came in and made some good pitches and the [rest of] the bullpen did the same thing."

The Brewers have lost three consecutive series while the Reds are undefeated in their last five (4-0-1).

Brewers: Players welcome extensions of Melvin, Roenicke
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin and skipper Ron Roenicke received extensions Tuesday, much to the delight of their players.

"Every year, you're going to go through trials and issues," catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "That's what's happening to us right now, and I think it's how you respond. Those signings right there, in the middle of this slump, I think that says a lot. That's showing ownership has confidence in our team even though its' struggling. Extending the leadership shows a lot of confidence, and as a player, I feel real good about it."

Melvin's contract was extended through 2015 and Roenicke's through 2014, with a club option for 2015. Both Melvin and Roenicke entered the 2012 season in the final guaranteed year of their deals.

Melvin was also given a promotion, as he was named the president of baseball operations-general manager. His previous title was executive vice president-general manager.

• All-Star outfielder Ryan Braun has been on a tear of late and continued his hot hitting in Tuesday's win over the Reds, but it came at a cost.

The 2011 National League MVP, went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and drove in his 20th run of the season but aggravated his right Achilles chasing a hit in the eighth inning and is questionable for Wednesday's finale. He has been getting treatment on his Achilles since he was hurt May 1 and sat out May 2, but since then has been playing.

Braun is batting .306 with a 1.006 OPS and has hit safely in seven of his past eight games, which includes a three-homer performance April 30.

Reds: Ludwick thinks Reds coming on strong
Outfielder Ryan Ludwick feels like the Reds, who sit a game above .500, second place in the NL Central, are starting to gel.

"If we can get at least one more [win] on this road trip and head back home and win that series against Washington, I think there will be a little more talk about this team. We're playing good baseball but these next five games [four after tonight] are five big games.

"If you win every series, you're going to get to the playoffs."

The Reds will get the NL East-leading Nationals after wrapping up their series with the Brewers. >p> Ludwick will be one of the bats Cincinnati needs to step up, as the veteran's batting average dropped to .176 after going 0-for-3 Tuesday.

• A sixth-inning two-run homer increased Bruce's team-leading total to 10. The left-handed swinging outfielder also leads the team in RBIs (23), slugging (.667) and OPS 1.009.

Bruce has homered in back-to-back contests and increased his hitting streak to 11 games. Over that stretch, he has hit seven homers.

• Reds manager Dusty Baker will be make a second attempt at career win No. 1,500 on Wednesday.

MLB.com Comments