Luckily for him, the offense seems to be coming around.
Cincinnati hopes to finish an 11-game trip with a third straight win and head into the break on a positive note Sunday against the San Diego Padres.
Cueto (9-5, 2.35 ERA) has lost his last two starts, mainly due to the one run of combined support he received. He gave up two earned runs over six innings of a 5-0 loss at San Francisco on June 28, then allowed three runs in seven innings of Tuesday's 3-1 loss to the Dodgers.
"That's life. I did my job," Cueto said. "I didn't have the help I want, but that's the way it goes."
Cueto's start Sunday was referenced as the reason former St. Louis manager Tony La Russa excluded the right-hander from the NL All-Star team, as Cueto would be ineligible to pitch in Tuesday's Midsummer Classic.
The right-hander and manager Dusty Baker feel he was snubbed, though Baker did not adjust his rotation to accommodate Cueto's possible All-Star game selection.
Cueto is 0-2 with a 7.41 ERA in three career starts versus the Padres, and he'll look to improve those numbers while guiding the Reds (46-38) to 6-5 record on the trip after Saturday's 6-5 victory.
After scoring one run in each of three consecutive defeats, Cincinnati has scored six times in consecutive games. Chris Heisey hit a two-run homer and Drew Stubbs added a solo shot Saturday.
''You struggle some times, but with us we don't put our heads down,'' said Todd Frazier, who went 2 for 4. ''We understand we have the bats to get the job done.
"We win out (Sunday) and it gives us a winning trip and a chance to go into the break on a good note.''
The Padres (34-52), meanwhile, have dropped two straight after capping their season-high six-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory in Thursday's series opener.
Chris Denorfia homered and Logan Forsythe went 3 for 4 with two RBIs in Saturday's defeat for San Diego, which is hitting an NL-worst .234 and won't have a position player representing it at the All-Star game.
Chase Headley extended his hitting streak to 12 games, and Carlos Quentin had an RBI single after going hitless in his previous 21 at-bats.
Reds All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth, reaching 102 mph on his final pitch.
"We just couldn't that one extra-base knock to inch us closer,'' Padres manager Bud Black said.
San Diego will send the struggling Jason Marquis to the hill seeking to get back on track.
Marquis (3-8, 5.82), one of 13 different starters the Padres have used this season, is 0-3 with a 4.44 ERA over his last four starts, giving up four runs in 6 1-3 innings of San Diego's 8-6 win over Arizona on Wednesday.
He has lost eight of his past nine starts.
The veteran right-hander is 3-0 with a 3.25 ERA in his last four starts versus the Reds, though he hasn't faced them since 2009.
- Cincinnati Reds
- San Diego Padres
- Johnny Cueto