Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 6
Cleveland 4
WP: Cueto (4-1)
LP: Carmona (4-2)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–The Reds are back in first place!

–Another strong start for Johnny Cueto: 6 innings, four hits, two runs. Cueto left the game with a blister, but he will reportedly be ready for his next start.

–Jay Bruce decided he didn’t want to slump any longer: 4-4 with a double, a walk, and two RBI. You can’t do much better than reaching base five times (and stealing a base, as well!).

–Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, Drew Stubbs, and Laynce Nix each had two hits. BP had a double and Nix had yet another homer. Nix is torrid lately, with homers in three straight games. On the season, Nix is slugging .611.

–Micah Owings actually got to pitch an inning today: three up, three down. Twelve pitches, then he went back to the dugout to sit next to Paul Janish.

NEGATIVES
–Francisco Cordero is a disaster right now. In the ninth, with the Reds up 6-2, CoCo gave up two runs and loaded the bases with one out before finally escaping.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–You really have to be pleased at how the Reds have responded to Thursday’s debacle at Atlanta. Dusty deserves some credit for that.

–On the other hand, what is Dusty thinking putting CoCo in the game tonight? Cordero had pitched each of the last two days, and tonight wasn’t even a save situation. Someone needs to slap Dusty when he wants to put Cordero or Nick Masset in the game; they’re going to be exhausted come August.

–If Dusty had any sense, he would’ve let Micah Owings try to get through the last three innings. It would’ve given Owings some work, and it would’ve rested a bullpen that has been leaned upon heavily in recent days. But no…that would’ve made too much sense for Dusty.

–Cueto is 4-0 with a 2.18 ERA in his last five starts. That’s not bad, friends and neighbors.

–Think the scouting report said the Reds could run on Indians catcher Mike Redmond? Cincinnati had four stolen bases, including two by the speedy Drew Stubbs.

–Laynce Nix is hitting .615 (8 for 13)) with three homers, six runs and seven RBI in the last three games.

–Reds go for the sweep of the Indians tomorrow afternoon!

Jay Bruce