CINCINNATI (AP) — Finally healthy after a lost season, Johnny Cueto is dominating every time out.
Cueto gave up three hits over eight innings, including two solo homers, and singled home a run on Saturday night, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 6-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Reds have won two of the first three in the series, leaving Milwaukee with a six-game lead in the NL Central.
Cueto (3-2) gave up homers by Aramis Ramirez and Mark Reynolds and an infield single by Jean Segura. He walked one and struck out 10. The right-hander has allowed only three runs in his last 38 innings.
"He was unbelievable again," catcher Brayan Pena said.
Cueto was on the disabled list three times last season, when he made only 11 starts. Everything is coming together for him so far in 2014.
"He's taking his game to an even different level," manager Bryan Price said.
Cueto is the first Red to throw at least seven innings in each of his first seven starts in a season since Bucky Walters in 1944. He's the first Red to throw at least eight innings in four straight starts since Jose Rijo in 1990.
"I've said before: He doesn't have the body of an Olympic athlete, but he plays like an Olympian-caliber athlete," Price said.
One curiosity with Cueto: He has given up six homers, accounting for seven of the eight runs he has allowed this season. He gave up two homers in a game for the first time this season.
Cueto has already thrown 55 innings. With the injuries last season, he managed only 60 2-3.
"It's really important to be throwing this many innings," Cueto said, with assistant trainer Tomas Vera translating. "I thank God that I'm feeling really strong. I've been working for this."
The Reds piled up the singles against Yovani Gallardo (2-1), who failed to produce a quality start for the first time this season. Cincinnati had nine singles in Gallardo's six innings, including Cueto's RBI hit in the sixth inning for a 4-2 lead.
"They put the ball on the ground," Gallardo said. "There's nothing I can do after that. It's frustrating when you make a good pitch and something happens. Cueto was a fastball away and he threw the bat out and made contact."