CINCINNATI - Finally healthy after a lost season, Johnny Cueto is dominating every time out.
Cueto gave up three hits over eight innings, including two solo homers, and singled home a run on Saturday night, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 6-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Reds have won two of the first three in the series, leaving Milwaukee with a six-game lead in the NL Central.
Cueto (3-2) gave up homers by Aramis Ramirez and Mark Reynolds and an infield single by Jean Segura. He walked one and struck out 10. The right-hander has allowed only three runs in his last 38 innings.
``He was unbelievable again,'' catcher Brayan Pena said.
Cueto was on the disabled list three times last season, when he made only 11 starts. Everything is coming together for him so far in 2014.
``He's taking his game to an even different level,'' manager Bryan Price said.
Cueto is the first Red to throw at least seven innings in each of his first seven starts in a season since Bucky Walters in 1944. He's the first Red to throw at least eight innings in four straight starts since Jose Rijo in 1990.
``I've said before: He doesn't have the body of an Olympic athlete, but he plays like an Olympian-caliber athlete,'' Price said.
One curiosity with Cueto: He has given up six homers, accounting for seven of the eight runs he has allowed this season. He gave up two homers in a game for the first time this season.
Cueto has already thrown 55 innings. With the injuries last season, he managed only 60 2-3.
``It's really important to be throwing this many innings,'' Cueto said, with assistant trainer Tomas Vera translating. ``I thank God that I'm feeling really strong. I've been working for this.''
The Reds piled up the singles against Yovani Gallardo (2-1), who failed to produce a quality start for the first time this season. Cincinnati had nine singles in Gallardo's six innings, including Cueto's RBI hit in the sixth inning for a 4-2 lead.
``They put the ball on the ground,'' Gallardo said. ``There's nothing I can do after that. It's frustrating when you make a good pitch and something happens. Cueto was a fastball away and he threw the bat out and made contact.''
Ryan Ludwick singled home a run, and Pena drove in two more with a single in a three-run fourth inning. Todd Frazier doubled home a run as the Reds pulled away against the bullpen.
The game matched two of the NL's stingiest pitchers. Cueto got the better of it, leaving his league-leading ERA at 1.31.
Reds leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton was out of the lineup for the second consecutive game because of sprained knuckles on his left hand.
The Brewers' offense has struggled and been in flux for the past week because of slumps and injuries. It took a significant hit on Saturday when Ryan Braun went on the disabled list with a strained right oblique.
Braun had missed the last six games with the injury. He's eligible to return on May 12. Outfielder Logan Schafer, who had been disabled by a strained right hamstring injury, was activated in Braun's spot.
Ramirez and Segura, the shortstop, missed time in the past week because of injuries. Ramirez, bothered by a bad elbow, was in an 0-for-28 slump that matched the longest of his career when he led off the second inning with a homer.
The Reds broke a 12-inning scoreless streak by piling up singles in the fourth. They loaded the bases on hits by Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce, and Frazier was hit by a pitch. Ludwick singled home one run, and Pena drove in two more.
STEVENS POINT - A former Portage County doctor could go to prison for sexually assaulting his patients. Wilton Calderon pled guilty to three felonies Friday.
Calderon was a caregiver at the Plover Family Practice until leaving it in 2015. He then moved to Connecticut.
At least seven women accused Calderon of sexually assaulted them during appointments. Some patients said Calderon placed his genitals in their hands and performed unwanted gynecological exams by penetrating them with his fingers.
SUGAR CAMP - Update Feb. 17, 2017 10:20 p.m. -- The woman who runs an Oneida County animal rescue could face animal mistreatment charges.
Oneida County Deputies booked Stephanie Schneider on Thursday. She is due in court on Feb. 27.
Last week, deputies removed 39 dogs from Schneider's "It Matters to One" in Sugar Camp and put them at the Oneida County Humane Society.
Police are recommending charges to the district attorney, which include failing to provide food and water, mistreating animals, and obstructing officers.
People who know Schneider say they can't believe this is happening.
"I'm just heartsick about this, and I'm sick at heart for her," said LynnAnn Thomas, a Sugar Camp resident who says she's friends with Stephanie Schneider.
"Those are her children. She would never, ever , ever mistreat them," Thomas said.
But that's exactly what police believe Schneider did. Last week they removed the dogs from the facility after a weeks-long investigation that was prompted by complaints and concerns from several people.
"People that had worked or volunteered there were concerned about the conditions that the dogs were in and the fact that they were not receiving food or water," said Oneida County Sheriff's Capt. Terri Hook.
Those accusations baffle Thomas.
"I been over there several times, it's always been meticulously clean, happy dogs," Thomas said.
Thomas believes whatever condition the dogs were in, they came to Schneider that way.
"She does get some really, really, really desperate cases, and I imagine that they take a long time to heal," Thomas said.
Thomas added she got her own dog from It Matters To One a few years ago.
"I got my little Hankey, he came in in really bad shape, and she wouldn't let me have him until he was nursed back to health," Thomas said.
Since the dogs were removed, It Matters to One posted certificates of veterinary inspections on its Facebook page for most of the 39 dogs. The Sheriff's Office has seen those and is including them in its investigation, which is ongoing and may not end soon.
"Just to ensure that all the dogs are healed and make sure they've received all the care they need," Hook said.
Newswatch 12 has reached out to It Matters to One and has been communicating with the rescue via email.
The state Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection is helping the sheriff's office with its investigation and will decide if the rescue can keep its license.
Newswatch 12 also reached out to the veterinarian who conducted the inspections for the rescue, but has not yet heard back.
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