ATLANTA, GA - MAY 15: Tim Hudson #15 of the Atlanta Braves reacts after scoring in the third inning against the Cincinnati Reds with Chipper Jones #10 at Turner Field on May 15, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Johnny Cueto entered today's game leading all of MLB with a 1.12 ERA, but he was due for a regression and the Braves obliged, handing Cueto his first loss of the season in support of Tim Hudson with a 6-2 win over the Reds.
Cueto and his funky windup had no answer for Atlanta's offense. Brian McCann smacked his sixth home run of the season for a second-inning lead; all three of McCann's hits against Cueto have been home runs. In the third inning with Hudson and Michael Bourn aboard, Martin Prado and Chipper Jones delivered run-scoring hits with one out, then Dan Uggla chased home Prado with a sacrifice fly. Jason Heyward scored Chipper with a double for a 5-0 lead. An RBI single by Prado in the fourth upped the lead to 6-0.
Cueto left the game after four innings, giving up eight hits and all six Atlanta runs.
The lead was more than enough for Hudson, who kept the Reds off the scoreboard while scattering five hits through six innings. A heads-up play by Eric Hinske in the top of the second inning kept the Reds from threatening. With Jay Bruce at first and one out, Chris Heisey reached base on an infield single, but Hinske caught Bruce trying to go to third and threw him out.
Hudson was touched for a pair of runs in the seventh, however. Four hits in the inning, including run-scoring hits by Ryan Hanigan and Drew Stubbs, cut Atlanta's lead to four, but Hudson escaped the inning with no further damage. Hudson struck out three in seven innings of work with two walks.
Kris Medlen and Craig Kimbrel finished off the Reds the final two innings, but not before the Reds threatened with a pair of hits in the eighth and a pair of walks in the ninth. Amazingly, Kimbrel did not strike out a single hitter.
The Braves split the brief two-game series, and regain first place in the NL East.