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Date of game: 9/11/2014

Recap: Cincinnati vs. St. Louis

Cincinnati, OH ( - The much-anticipated pitchers' duel between the Reds' Johnny Cueto and the Cardinals' Lance Lynn lived up to expectations on Thursday afternoon, as Cincinnati edged St. Louis 1-0 in the finale of a four-game set at Great American Ball Park.

Cueto (18-8) allowed just three hits, struck out seven and walked one over eight innings, becoming the second pitcher in the majors to reach 18 wins. The right-hander has now won three straight decisions, yielding only three runs on 18 hits with 22 strikeouts and four walks over 23 innings during that span.

Lynn (15-9) was nearly equal to Cueto, surrendering just one run on three hits with six strikeouts in eight frames. However, his lone walk of the day would come back to hurt him.

Brandon Phillips began the eighth inning with a free pass against Lynn and moved to third on Jay Bruce's base hit. Ramon Santiago then hit a soft liner to center that Jon Jay, running in trying to make a below the waist catch, dropped to allow Phillips to score without a throw. Bruce was forced out at second on the play and Lynn recovered to get out of the inning without any further damage.

Aroldis Chapman came on for the ninth and worked around a two-out walk to Matt Holliday to record his 33rd save of the season.

"The one batter I walked cost me the game," said Lynn.

Santiago, Bruce and Billy Hamilton had the only hits for the Reds, who took final three games of this four-game set from the NL-Central leading Cardinals.

Lynn had one of the three hits for the Cardinals, who ended an eight-game road trip 4-4.

Cueto walked the first batter of the game and hit Jay with a pitch, but quickly settled down after that. He struck out Holliday and Matt Adams and then got Jhonny Peralta to ground in a fielder's choice to end the inning.

"We get a couple guys on right off the bat and we don't get anything," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "When we get a little something going we have to find a way to capitalize."

After a 1-2-3 second, Cueto pitched out of trouble again in the third. Lynn singled to start the frame and moved to second on a Matt Carpenter bunt base hit. However, Jay grounded into a double play and Holliday grounded out to end the inning without any damage.

Bruce later made a key defensive play in the seventh, leaping the fence in right field to rob Adams of a homer to lead off the inning.

"The ball's over the fence and brought back," added Matheny. "Those are the kind of plays you have to make to win a game like this. They were able to make the plays and we weren't."

Cueto finished his day by retiring 14 in a row.

Lynn was also great, retiring 15 in a row before walking Phillips to start the eighth.

"I had four quality pitches working today," said Lynn. "I don't know if I've had that before."

Because there was a force out on the deciding play in the eighth inning, the run charged to Lynn was earned.

Game Notes

Reds catcher Bryan Pena was scratched from the lineup due to illness ... Cueto is one win shy of tying his career high for wins in a season, having recorded 19 in 2012 ... Cueto and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw both lead the majors with 18 wins ... The Reds have won three straight games against St. Louis for the first time since Aug. 28-Sept. 3, 2013 ... Phillips has reached base in seven consecutive games ... Cueto has 220 strikeouts on the season, the most by a Reds pitcher since Jose Rijo led the National League with 227 in 1993 ... Adams went 1-for-3, extending his hitting streak to five games ... Jay was hit by a pitch for the 19th time, the most in the majors.

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