The Cincinnati Reds (52-51) earned their first win of the second half of the season and end their seven game losing streak by shutting out the Washington Nationals (56-45) by the score of 1-0 on Saturday evening.
Solid pitching was the key for the Reds as starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (11-6) provided a seven inning outing, giving up no runs on four hits and striking out nine. Cueto's ERA is down to 2.08, good for second best in the National League and third best in the entire Major League.
"He was more aggressive with his fastball than his last start, his control was unbelievable," Reds' catcher Brayan Pena said. "Johnny is an ace, he goes out there and gives it everything he's got."
Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman combined to throw the eighth and ninth innings to complete the shutout for the Redlegs. With this outing, Chapman has not struck out a batter in 43 consecutive appearances and earns save number 22 on the season. Chapman has also struck out 17 of the last 21 outs he has recorded.
The Nationals' pitching staff threw a great game as well, as starter Gio Gonzalez (6-6) threw seven innings, giving up one run on four hits and striking out eight. However, his efforts were not enough as the lone run he surrendered proved to be the difference in today's game.
Cincinnati's only run came in the fifth inning on a Brayan Pena single into left field to score Chris Heisey who doubled and stole third, for his 12th steal, earlier in the inning.
"I wasn't trying to do too much, I was just trying to put the ball in play. I think that approach works and it worked for me today," Pena said.
Written by Brett Bibbins, WXIX