Cueto's arm, Ludwick's bat lift Reds over Yankees
NEW YORK (AP) — Johnny Cueto pitched effectively into the eighth inning, Ryan Ludwick delivered two big hits and the Cincinnati Reds closed out their extended visit to New York by beating the Yankees 5-2 Sunday.
The Reds rallied late against CC Sabathia, sending the Yankees to their fifth loss in six games. Aroldis Chapman closed it out as Cincinnati took two of three at Yankee Stadium, right after splitting a pair at Citi Field against the Mets.
Cueto (5-1) gave up a two-run homer to Raul Ibanez in the sixth. The Yankees had plenty of traffic against him, but couldn't score more.
Reds manager Dusty Baker mixed and matched his bullpen the rest of the way, using Sean Marshall and Logan Ondrusek to get through the eighth. Chapman, the closer for at least a day, worked a hitless ninth for his first save of the season and the second of his major league career.
The hard-throwing lefty has not allowed an earned run in 22 1-3 innings this season, striking out 39.
Cincinnati had been blanked on two singles before Ludwick homered on Sabathia's first pitch of the seventh. An out later, Ryan Hanigan tied it when he crushed an 0-2 pitch deep to left-center for his first homer of the season.
Zack Cozart followed with a one-hop single off Sabathia (5-2). And with two outs, the big lefty suddenly lost the plate, walking Drew Stubbs, Joey Votto and then Brandon Phillips on a full count to force home the go-ahead run.
That bout of wildness marked only the third time in Sabathia's 12-season career that he had walked three batters in a row, STATS LLC said.
Ludwick hit a two-out, two-run double off the glove of diving left fielder Dewayne Wise in the ninth. Ludwick had missed the past two games with a bruised left elbow after being plunked by Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.
Ibanez, who had faced Cueto more than any other Yankees hitter from his days in the NL, broke open a scoreless game by pulling a two-run homer into the second deck. Ibanez connected for his ninth home run on an afternoon when manager Joe Girardi gave him a "half day," moving him from the outfield to the DH slot.
New York hitters had been in a 5-for-57 rut with runners in scoring position when Ibanez homered one out after Robinson Cano's leadoff double.
It was Bat Day at Yankee Stadium — for the fans, not the hitters in the early going. Through the middle innings, the Cueto-Sabathia duel was as good as advertised.
Sabathia didn't allow a hit until Todd Frazier grounded a single in the fifth. Chris Heisey popped up and stranded two runners that inning, and Phillips grounded into a double play with two on and no outs in the sixth.
Cueto gave up exactly one single in each of the first five innings. Yet only once did the Yankees get a runner past first base in that span — after a pair of four-pitch walks, Alex Rodriguez flied out on the first pitch to end the third.
NOTES: Sabathia walked five, his most since April 2010. ... Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira didn't start any game in the series as he tries to shake his bronchitis. He pinch hit in the ninth and reached on an error. ... Yankees OF Brett Gardner (strained right elbow) isn't expected to pick up a bat until Thursday. ... Reds INF Wilson Valdez turned 34. ... RHP Mike Leake (0-5) starts for the Reds at home Monday night vs. Atlanta LHP Mike Minor (2-3). ... Yankees RHP Hiroki Kuroda (3-5) starts at home Monday night vs. Kansas City RHP Felipe Paulino (1-1).