(SAN FRANCISCO) — No Cueto, no problem. The Cincinnati Reds held off the San Francisco Giants, 5-2 to take Game 1 of the NLDS on Saturday night.
Reds’ starting pitcher Johnny Cueto exited the game only eight pitches in, throwing six for strikes, during Marco Scutaro’s at-bat in the bottom of the first inning due to back spasms. During Giants’ outfielder Angel Pagan’s leadoff at-bat, Pagan stepped out of the batter’s box and was granted time. Cueto did not see him step out and continued his motion.
Cueto became the earliest pitcher to exit a game since Atlanta’s John Thomson lasted one-third of an inning in Game 3 of a 2004 NLDS game against the Astros.
Sam LeCure came in and pitched the next one and third, followed by Mat Latos who pitched four innings, giving up four hits and allowed a solo shot to Buster Posey.
The Reds homered twice off Giants starter Matt Cain, Brandon Phillips got the Reds on the board in the top of the third inning with a two-run homer and Jay Bruce added a solo shot in the fourth to give the Reds a 3-0 lead.
Buster Posey homered for the Giants in the bottom of the sixth to pull them within two runs but the Reds added on in the top of the ninth for two more runs.
Aroldis Chapman closed the door for the Reds to give them a 1-0 NLDS lead.
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