CINCINNATI (AP) — Johnny Cueto allowed just three hits for his second shutout of the season, and Brandon Phillips hit a three-run homer and a double, leading the Cincinnati Reds over the San Diego Padres 5-0 Thursday in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.
The teams were making up their game rained out on Wednesday night.
Cueto (4-2) lowered the majors’ best ERA to 1.25 and extended one of the best season-opening stretches in more than 100 years. He has three complete games and two shutouts in his first nine starts.
Cueto is the first major league pitcher to go at least seven innings and allow two or fewer runs in each of his first nine starts since the Philadelphia Athletics’ Harry Krause in 1909, according to information provided the Reds by the Elias Sports Bureau.
Also, he is the first Reds pitcher to go at least seven innings in each of his first nine starts since Bucky Walters in 1944.
San Diego came into the game last in the NL in batting average (.222) and runs (118). The Padres were blanked for the seventh time, the most in the majors. Cueto fanned eight, walked two and threw 116 pitches.
Phillips homered off Ian Kennedy (2-5) and Zack Cozart singled home a pair of runs, part of a three-hit game for the shortstop.
BREWERS 4, PIRATES 3
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Khris Davis hit a game-ending two-run single as the Milwaukee Brewers came back in the ninth inning off closer Mark Melancon.
Ryan Braun led off the inning by singling to right before Melancon (1-2) walked the next two hitters to load the bases with nobody out.
Up came Davis, who smashed his broken-bat hit into short center to drive in Braun and Jonathan Lucroy. Teammates showered Davis with cups of water in the face in celebration after he reached first.
Reliever Rob Wooten (1-1) threw 1-1-3 scoreless innings.
The comeback spoiled the return of Pirates starter Wandy Rodriguez from the disabled list with right knee inflammation. Rodriguez allowed solo homers to Rickie Weeks and Martin Maldonado but struck out four in his first start since April 19.
Gaby Sanchez’s solo homer off Yovani Gallardo in the sixth snapped a 2-2 tie to give the Pirates the lead until Melancon broke down in the ninth. Subbing for injured closer Jason Grilli, Melancon had converted his four previous save opportunities.
CARDINALS 5, CUBS 3
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Michael Wacha pitched seven innings and drove in two runs for St. Louis.
Wacha (3-3) had lost his last three decisions since an April 13 win over the Cubs. The 22-year-old right-hander allowed seven hits, including a homer, but did not walk a batter. He struck out five.
Trevor Rosenthal pitched 1 2-3 innings for his 11th save. Rosenthal, who blew a save Tuesday, inherited a one-out, bases-loaded situation and gave up a sacrifice fly, but closed out the inning and retired the side in the ninth.
The Cubs have lost nine of their last 11 and are off to the worst start in 39 games (13-26) since 2002.
Chicago starter Jason Hammel (4-2) gave up five runs on five hits and two walks in 5 1-3 innings, raising his ERA to 3.06. Hammel had six strikeouts.