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Reds beat Nationals 1-0, end 7-game losing streak

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 26, 2014 at 6:29 pm •  Published: July 26, 2014
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CINCINNATI (AP) — Johnny Cueto made one modest run enough to end a long losing streak.

Cueto fanned nine in seven innings on Saturday, and Brayan Pena singled through a drawn-in infield for the only run, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 1-0 victory over the Washington Nationals that ended a seven-game losing streak.

Cincinnati ended its longest losing streak in five years by getting several good defensive plays and another dominating performance by its All-Star starter. Cueto (11-6) gave up four hits and walked three.

"He always asks for one run," Pena said. "That's what he preaches. He has confidence in himself and believes in what he does. He always gives us a chance to be in the game."

Left-hander Aroldis Chapman pitched out of a two-on, two-out threat in the eighth and finished for his 22nd save in 24 chances. He extended his streak of at least one strikeout in his last 43 appearances, the longest by a reliever in the majors since 1900.

The Reds' offense has been in a deep slump, leading to Cincinnati's worst losing streak coming out of the All-Star break since 1991. They managed only four hits during a 4-1 loss on Friday night. They got four hits again on Saturday, but this time it was enough.

"You've heard me talk about how teams go through stretches like this," manager Bryan Price said. "You hope it's not in September where it takes you out of the race. This one didn't, but I'm sure everybody in this building is feeling a lot better."

Pena's single through the left side of a drawn-in infield in the fifth inning made the difference against left-hander Gio Gonzalez (6-6), who gave up four hits and fanned eight in seven innings.

He has been tough on the Reds throughout his career. He was 2-0 in his previous four starts against Cincinnati with a 1.00 ERA, allowing three earned runs and fanning 32 in 27 innings.

The Reds ended a slump that had dropped them back to .500 for the first time since June 24. Cueto had the most to do with it, holding down a team that hit him hard the last time around. He fanned the side in the third and sixth innings, leaving after throwing his 103rd pitch.

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