Cueto strong in Reds’ loss to LA Angels

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — While newly acquired slugger Albert Pujols has been hitting up a storm, Los Angeles Angels newcomer C.J. Wilson has been equally as impressive on the mound.

Wilson put together his third consecutive strong outing, pitching four innings in Thursday’s 3-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

“It was really good today, something to build on,” said Wilson, who has worked nine innings and allowed only one run.

After eight scoreless innings this spring, Wilson gave up a run when Denis Phipps hit a double that scored Miguel Cairo, helped by left fielder Vernon Wells’ error.

The Angels gave Wilson $77.5 million over five years and lured him away from AL West rival Texas, boosting a rotation that already included Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.

“We’ve all shown that we have great stuff,” said Wilson, 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA with Texas in 2011. “I’m the least experienced of the group. I’m not worried about where I slot.”

Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto worked four innings in his third spring appearance and allowed four hits and one earned run. His outing was an improvement over his previous game when he gave up five hits and three runs in two innings against Oakland.

“This outing is the one I feel is the best so far,” Cueto said. “I used all the pitches that I have to be ready for the season.”

The Reds managed only four hits, with Phipps getting two.

“Cueto threw the ball well,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “All of our guys threw the ball well. We’re just having trouble scoring runs, well, scoring as much as the other teams.”

NOTES: Angels manager Mike Scioscia said right-handed reliever Jason Isringhausen would be ready to pitch in a game tomorrow. Scioscia added that 1B/DH Kendrys Morales has continued to make progress running the bases and could be ready to play in a minor league game this weekend. … Reds pitching coach Bryan Price said RHP Nick Masset (sore shoulder) is the closest of all his injured pitchers of coming back. Bill Bray is also out with a strained groin and Ryan Madson has tightness in his right elbow.