Reds lose 19-game winner Johnny Cueto to injury

Associated Press Modified: October 7, 2012 at 1:32 am •  Published: October 7, 2012
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Johnny Cueto warned the Cincinnati Reds after his warmup that he had experienced a sharp pain on the right side of his back when he made his final two throws in the bullpen.

Cueto lasted just eight pitches after that. He left his Game 1 start against San Francisco on Saturday night in the first inning because of back spasms, then the Reds hung on to beat the Giants 5-2 behind their stellar bullpen.

"I feel really proud about my team. I feel proud about the pitchers," Cueto said. "They all came in and did their job."

The Reds said he is day to day. The right-hander threw a second strike to No. 2 hitter Marco Scutaro and walked off the mound in obvious pain. A trainer and manager Dusty Baker rushed out to check on him, and the 19-game winner came out moments later.

Now, the Reds hope to get him back this series. Cueto wants to see how he responds Sunday.

"I really feel better right now," Cueto said after the game. "This is my first time it happened."

He retired leadoff man Angel Pagan on a strikeout. During the at-bat, Pagan stepped out of the batter's box and was granted time. Cueto apparently didn't see it and continued his motion, but Baker said pitching coach Bryan Price had alerted him to Cueto's discomfort beforehand.