Cueto feels fine after first start since June

Cueto feels fine after first start since June

HOUSTON -- One day after returning to the rotation from a 2 1/2-month stint on the disabled list and throwing five scoreless innings for Monday's 6-1 win over the Astros, Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto said he felt good. Cueto, who had been out with a strained right lat muscle, also described feeling the normal soreness he would that follows a start.

"Today and tomorrow are big on how he feels," Reds manager Dusty Baker said on Tuesday. "You talk to pitchers and they talk about normal soreness. He's probably more sore than normal and he had to exert extra energy and adrenaline because he hasn't been there."

Cueto's outing came against an Astros team with the Major Leagues' worst record. Might he face a tougher task next week against the Mets, or perhaps the rival Pirates in the regular season's final two series?

Baker wasn't ready to reveal a plan for Cueto.

"We'll see how this week goes," Baker said. "There's not a whole bunch of people that can fill that slot better than Johnny. It depends on how he feels, and there's a chance those games are going to be pretty important."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.