Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez, once the young hopes of the Reds rotation, found themselves in an impressive pitchers duel Tuesday night Pittsburgh.

Back in 2008 when they joined the rotation, it was anyone's guess who would become the ace. We all know the answer now.

Cueto hammered that point home Tuesday. He beat the Pirates 4-1 before a crowd of 11,926 at PNC. Cueto, 2-2 with a 1.38 ERA, walked three and struck out four. He also singled in a run.

The Pirates didn't score until Andrew McCutchen homered with one out in the ninth.

Cueto shut out the Pirates 4-0 in his last start. So McCutchen's homer kept Cueto from becoming the first Red to pitch back-to-back shutouts since Tom Seaver did it in 1977. Cueto did become the first Red to throw back-to-back complete games since Mat Latos did it in June of 2012.

It was Cueto's first appearance at PNC since his awful outing in the Wild Card Game. The fans started chanting "KWAY-toe, KWAY-toe, KWAY-too!" from the start.

On along the way, Cueto passed 1,000 career innings. He is the first pitcher to reach 1,000 career innings while pitching for the Reds since Tom Browning.

Back in 2008, Volquez was the better pitcher. He went 17-6 with 3.21 ERA. The Reds traded Josh Hamilton to Texas to get Volquez, and the deal was a wash early. But Volquez hasn't had a year with an ERA under 4.00 since.

Cueto went 9-14 with a 4.81 ERA in '08, but he's continued to get better. He went into Tuesday with a 2.86 ERA since the start of 2010.