CINCINNATI - The Reds really needed a win Tuesday night.
Really, really needed one. Really, really needed their ace to deliver, too.
They got it -- got all of the above -- and with a flurry of offense late they were even able to exhale late. They just couldn't share many high-fives and hugs because of a flu bug making its way around the clubhouse.
And that's what made Johnny Cueto's dominant, complete-game performance even more important.
The Battle of Ohio started with a 7-1 Reds victory over the Indians. Cueto struck out seven, the Reds pounded out 13 hits and a tired bullpen rested.
The Reds were sick -- and not just sick of losing. They came in having lost two straight series, two straight games and five of their last seven games overall. To make matters more complicated, two regulars were scratched due to flu-like symptoms, All-Star Joey Votto was farm from 100 percent and manager Dusty Baker had to push Wednesday starting pitcher Mike Leake back a day (at least) due t...