Cueto back in fine form in beating Braves

Cueto back in fine form in beating Braves

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy summarized Johnny Cueto's performance succinctly: "He was Johnny," Bochy said.

For the 31-year-old right-hander, being Johnny typically guarantees success. Cueto ended a personal three-decision losing streak Sunday while subduing the Atlanta Braves, 7-1.

Cueto muted the Braves' bats enough to help the Giants match their largest margin of victory of the season. He yielded Atlanta's lone run and six hits through six innings. He walked one and struck out eight for the second game in a row.

Cueto reported trouble with the blisters on the middle and index fingers of his throwing hand last Tuesday at Chicago. But those nuisances weren't a factor against Atlanta.

"They're not bothering me like they were before," Cueto said through interpreter Erwin Higueros. "I'm just getting used to it. I just have to continue pitching until they get better."

Cueto's durability enabled him to throw 106 pitches, including 71 strikes.

"I kept the ball down, which is the job of a pitcher," he said.

Braves hitters went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, including 0-for-6 off Cueto.

"I thought Johnny was as sharp as he's been this year," said Giants catcher Buster Posey, who praised Cueto's fastball and changeup. "Hopefully it's something to build on."

Cueto's sacrifice fly

Cueto, who was 0-3 with a 4.33 ERA in his previous four outings, perpetuated the effectiveness of the Giants' starters at AT&T Park. The five-man contingent has compiled a 2.23 ERA in San Francisco's last 10 home games. The Giants' overall home ERA of 2.95 matches Los Angeles for the National League's best.

Cueto even contributed offensively by executing a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly.

"I was just trying to put the ball in play," he said.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.