OAKLAND, Calif. — Johnny Cueto nearly had a triple play turned behind him. A double play by the Cincinnati Reds still did plenty to protect his lead.
"Play of the game," catcher Ramon Hernandez said.
Cueto (7-2) pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning, Jay Bruce had an early two-run single on the way to his second straight three-hit game, and the Reds earned a sweep of the Oakland Athletics with a 3-0 win Wednesday.
Cincinnati salvaged a .500 road trip after losing all three at Seattle over the weekend. "We got swept, then we swept," Manager Dusty Baker said. "Not the way we planned it."
The A's had the bases full and no outs in the fourth but came out of it with nothing but their manager being ejected.
Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips made a heads-up play by not catching Gabe Gross's soft liner, playing it on a short hop and throwing home for a force. Hernandez fired to third baseman Miguel Cairo, and he both stepped on the bag and tagged Kurt Suzuki. Had Cairo stepped on third and thrown to second right away, Cincinnati would have had time to turn a triple play.
"Might've, but we were happy to get what we got, bases loaded, nobody out," Baker said. Phillips jumped in frustration at the missed chance for a rare triple play.
"We like to get on ESPN. Cairo kept us from getting on ESPN with a triple play," Hernandez joked.
Oakland skipper Bob Geren was tossed by second base umpire and crew chief Jerry Crawford, arguing for the infield fly rule that would have made it only one out.
"The rules state if it can be caught with ordinary effort outside of a line drive it can be called an infield fly," Geren said. "(Crawford) thought it was a semi-line drive; I thought it was more of a popup. ... It was a big part of the game, bases-loaded, no outs."
Braden's funk continues
Bronson Arroyo didn't walk a batter in eight strong innings, Corky Miller hit a two-run single, and the Reds beat Oakland 4-2 Tuesday night.
Joey Votto added an RBI double in the third as the Reds quickly jumped on Dallas Braden, whose winless stretch reached eight starts since his perfect game against Tampa Bay on May 9. Braden is 0-5 during that stretch, and he's even been growing a beard in an effort to get out of his funk.
Arroyo (7-3) was coming off a career-high six walks in a win over the Dodgers.