Baker not worried about Cueto

Baker not worried about Cueto

CINCINNATI -- Johnny Cueto took a no-hitter into the sixth inning Friday.

But the no-hitter, shutout, and a three-run lead were abruptly erased when the rookie right-hander allowed three solo home runs to tie the score, 3-3. Cueto earned a no-decision in the Reds' 4-3 victory.

The 22-year-old Cueto has scuffled a bit since his historic big league debut April 3 against Arizona, when he allowed one earned run and struck out 10.

Reds manager Dusty Baker attributes the youngster's recent inconsistencies to growing pains.

"There are veterans who do the same things," Baker said. "Let's not forget this young man is 22 years old. He's way ahead of a lot of guys he broke in with."

Cueto is 2-4 with a 5.75 ERA in nine starts. He's struck out 53 batters and walked just 13 in 51 2/3 innings pitched.

Cueto has walked more than two batters only once this season. A product of his control is that nine of his 12 home runs allowed have been solo homers.

"The good thing is he doesn't walk guys, because that's harder to fix," Baker said. "He's going to make mistakes. They're not always going to hit them out of the ballpark."

While Baker would like Cueto to control his emotions on the mound, he admires his tenacity and desire.

"That's part of being a competitor," Baker said. "It takes a while to channel those emotions. He wants it badly. He's learning invaluable lessons. Some guys he came up with may not learn those things for another two or three more years. He'll learn from this."

Jeff Wallner is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.