Johnny Cueto hopes he can return to pitch Game Three. He believes he can return. Whether he will is a mystery, for now.

The Reds' ace left Saturday night's NLDS opener after eight pitches, with the team announcing that Cueto had back spasms. The team said Cueto is day-to-day as far as returning, possibly as early as Game Three on Tuesday in Cincinnati.

"I saw Johnny after the game and he said he was better," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Whatever that means, because he was in quite a bit of pain out there. The fact that he said he's better, and Johnny is usually pretty honest with us, that gives us a glimmer of hope that he might be back (for Game Three)."

The Reds won 5-2 as Sam LeCure, Mat Latos, Sean Marshall, Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman followed Cueto to the mound. LeCure got the win with 1 2/3 scoreless innings, and Latos made a strong emergency showing with four innings of one-run ball.

Latos was to pitch Game Three on Tuesday, but now those plans must be rearranged. The Reds will see how Cueto is Sunday before making any determinations.

Cueto said he first felt pain while wrapping up his pre-game bullpen session.