Not only will Cueto be facing a potent Yankees lineup, but he'll be squaring off with CC Sabathia, who, like Cueto, suffered his only defeat so far this season his last time out.
Despite getting knocked around Tuesday to the tune of six runs (five earned) on eight hits in just four innings of work against the Braves, Cueto's ERA still sits at 1.89 entering Sunday's series finale at Yankee Stadium.
Neither Cueto nor manager Dusty Baker seemed too concerned about the right-hander conceding more than three runs for the first time this season, though. After the game, Cueto wrote off the rare loss by pointing out through a translator, "I'm not a robot." And Baker added simply: "It happens."
As for Sabathia, his loss Tuesday against the Orioles snapped a streak of five straight victories for the southpaw and ended his run of unbeaten regular-season starts at nine, dating back to last season.
Sabathia had pitched into the eighth inning in each of his last five starts prior to Tuesday, going 5-0 with a 2.91 ERA in those outings. Against the Orioles, however, the left-hander lasted just six frames while issuing a season-high four walks.
"The two-seamer was a little off," Sabathia said of his struggles. "I feel like I had a good one early, but it kind of went away from me. The fastball command and the four walks killed me. It's just not making the pitches. Normally, in the last couple of starts, I've been making pitches when I needed to. [My] fastball command wasn't there."
Reds: Baker wants to see more power
Joey Votto's three-run homer Saturday is exactly what Baker said he wants to see more of prior to the 6-5 victory.
More than one-third of the Reds' runs this season (53 of 150) have come courtesy of their 33 home runs. What Baker said he wanted to see change, though, was not just the lack of homers from his middle-of-the-order guys, but also the lack of guys on base ahead of them.
"To tell you the truth, I'd like to see some more long ball," said Baker, when asked if he was worried about his team's offense relying too much on home runs. "I like to see some variation of offense, but we need to get our top guys on in front of the long-ball guys. Brandon [Phillips] has two, [Scott] Rolen has two, Joey has [seven] -- we've got some guys behind in the pace, but they'll pick it up."
Jay Bruce is hitless in his last 13 at-bats, striking out nine times in that span.
Yankees: Teixeira likely to sit again Sunday
Mark Teixeira will likely miss his third straight game Sunday, as the Yankees' first baseman continues to try to shake a bronchial ailment that he's been battling since early April.
Manager Joe Girardi said he told Teixeira last Thursday that he planned to give the slugger this weekend off, hoping the extra rest would be the elusive cure to Teixeira's extended illness.
"It's not easy, but you have to sometimes take care of yourself and try to get better because it's a long season," said Teixeira, whose voice is now hoarse from extended coughing fits. "I want to make sure that I'm good for the long run."
The Yankees are 20-5 when scoring four-plus runs this season and just 1-14 when scoring three or fewer.
Raul Ibanez is 4-for-13 [.308] in his career against Cueto. The rest of the Yankees, excluding pitchers, are hitting a cumulative .133 (4-for-30) against the right-hander.
The Yankees haven't posted a losing record against the National League since going 5-10 in Interleague Play's inaugural season in 1997. New York has had a winning Interleague record in each of the last 14 seasons and holds a Major League-best .594 winning percentage overall.