Postgame extra — Deee-fensssse

It was tough to count the defensive gems tonight behind Johnny Cueto during a 7-3 victory over the Phillies.

*Joey Votto picked and turned the 3-6-3 double play to end the top of the second after Cueto had a shaky start to the inning.

*Brandon Phillips snagged Raul Ibanez’s grounder and flipped to second to begin a 4-6-3 double play in the third. Ibanez looked safe but Cueto escaped having runners on first and second with one out.

*That one out in the fourth came when leadoff hitter Chase Utley was thrown out by center fielder Drew Stubbs trying to stretch a single into a double.

*SS Orlando Cabrera had two nice plays. He stopped an Utley grounder in the hole and made a nice one-hop throw to Votto at first base in the sixth. In the eighth, he made an over the shoulder catch on Ross Gload’s pop up to shallow left field.

“We’ve been lucky this year with the way our defense is playing. I appreciated the way they played tonight,” Cueto said.

*Those plays helped Cueto get eight innings and 109 pitches after a shaky start. He allowed six hits and two walks and for the first time this season — he had no strikeouts.

*Cueto has a 0.87 ERA over his last three starts (2 ER/20 2/3 innings)

*Bill Bray pitched the ninth, giving him his first big league action since the final day of the 2008 season. Bray had Tommy John surgery in 2009 while in Triple-A. He allowed a two-out homer to Ibanez when the game seemed in hand.

*Scott Rolen notched career home run No. 300 with his two-run shot off of the foul pole in left field.

More quotes —

“Those guys aren’t that easy to strikeout either. They have some quality hitters over there. Sometimes you put too much emphasis on strikeouts. If you can make them put the ball in play and use your defense, that eliminates the high pitch count that Johnny is prone to get sometimes.” — Dusty Baker

“I was concentrating on keeping the ball down to the hitter and just getting a groundball” — Johnny Cueto.

“We’re trying to get a series, we’re trying to win a series. We know theyre a good team without a doubt, and we think were a good team. So were going to go out and play good baseball. This series isn’t over, we still have work to do against these guys and obviously we have a tough road trip.” — Scott Rolen


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