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Cueto, Reds shut out Pirates

Cueto, Reds shut out Pirates CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Reds catcher Brayan Pena enjoys working with pitchers who are confident in their stuff. Right now, few major league pitchers exude as much confidence as right-hander Johnny Cueto, who on Wednesday afternoon made things easy for Pena and the Reds.

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LHP Aroldis Chapman (facial fractures) played catch on Thursday and Friday. He'll take the next step on Monday when he plans to throw a bullpen session. Chapman was hurt when struck by a comebacker March 19, and he had a plate surgically inserted in his skull March 20. He went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21.

Cincinnati Reds - PlayerWatch

LHP Aroldis Chapman (facial fractures) played catch on Thursday and Friday. He'll take the next step on Monday when he plans to throw a bullpen session. Chapman was hurt when struck by a comebacker March 19, and he had a plate surgically inserted in his skull March 20. He went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21.

Price, Rays shut down Reds 2-1

Price, Rays shut down Reds 2-1 CINCINNATI -- Tampa Bay left-hander David Price was having trouble picking up signs from catcher Jose Molina throughout Friday night's game at Great American Ball Park. Fortunately for the Rays, Cincinnati Reds batters had more difficulty seeing Price's changeup. Left fielder Matt Joyce homered and Price allowed one run in 8 1/3 innings, lifting Tampa Bay to a 2-1 victory over Cincinnati in the opener of a three-game interleague series.

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RHP Mike Leake was nothing short of masterful Wednesday, authoring a four-hitter over eight innings of the team's 4-0 win in St. Louis. It was a reversal of fortune for Leake, who entered the game 2-4 with a 5.96 ERA in his career against the Cardinals. But his sinker produced 17 groundball outs and he cruised through a good offense on just 100 pitches.

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LHP Aroldis Chapman, who is on the 15-day disabled list after being struck on the forehead by a line drive on March 19, will be examined by a doctor Wednesday. "I feel almost normal and have no pain," Chapman said. "After watching what happened to me, I'm thankful what could've happened didn't happen." On March 20, Chapman had a titanium plate inserted into his skull to stabilize fractures above his left eye, and he his recovery time is estimated to be six to eight weeks. In the meantime, Reds manager Bryan Price will use closers according to the best matchups.

Molina's homer, defense lift Cards past Reds

Molina's homer, defense lift Cards past Reds CINCINNATI -- As the St. Louis Cardinals players exchanged postgame handshakes following Monday afternoon's victory over the Reds, left fielder Matt Holliday echoed the sentiments of his teammates, shouting "Yadi wins!" Holliday was referring to catcher Yadier Molina, who did everything well while leading his team to an Opening Day victory.

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2B Brandon Phillips went 0-for-4 and botched a potential double-play ball Tuesday night in a 6-2 loss at Pittsburgh in the National League wild-card game, then minced no words afterward about his performance. "I choked," he said. "I didn't do anything. It's on my back." CF Shin-Soo Choo hit his first career postseason home run, a solo shot in the eighth inning Tuesday night in a 6-2 loss at Pittsburgh in the NL wild-card game. Choo, who scored both of the Reds' runs, was the first left-handed hitter to homer off Pirates LHP Tony Watson this season.

Preview: Reds at Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates participate in their first postseason game in 21 years when they host the Cincinnati Reds in Tuesday’s National League wild-card game. Pittsburgh secured home-field advantage by sweeping a three-game series in Cincinnati and the winner of this one-game round meets the St. Louis Cardinals in the divisional round. The Reds are in the playoffs for the third time in four seasons, but staggered down the stretch with five consecutive losses to match a season-worst skid.

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RHP Bronson Arroyo made what could be his final start for Cincinnati, giving up six earned runs on five home runs in 4 2/3 innings. Arroyo, a free agent after the season, eclipsed 200 innings for the eighth time in nine years. He ranks among franchise leaders in wins, starts and strikeouts. Arroyo has indicated the Mets as a possible destination and made clear he wants to go to a contender.
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