Johnny Cueto has almost singlehandedly kept the Reds from completing drifting out of the contention.

Consider: The Reds are 10-17 since the All-Star Break. They are 5-1 in his starts. He had not lost since July 2. He is 7-0 with a 2.24 ERA since that loss.

Cueto and the Reds beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 before a crowd of 33,668 Friday night at Coors Field. Cueto (15-6) went eight innings and allowed two runs on six hits. He walked two and struck six.

It was dramatic.

"It was a hard-fought, 3-2 victory," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "If that's what we've got to do the last 40 games of the season to get into the postseason, that's what it's going to be. We'll fight all the way to very end. It would be nice to win some games 8-1, but if we've got to win 3-2 with nail-biters, we'll do it 3-2."

Cueto left facing a no decision.

But Kristopher Negron's two-out single in the ninth got the winning run in.

"I'm very happy for him," Price said. "I'm sure it's something he'll never forget -- to impact such a big way, for a much-needed victory is terrific."

Ramon Santiago led off with a single. Zack Cozart bunted him over. Skip Schumaker, hitting for Cueto, walked. After Billy Hamilton popped out, Negron grounded one through the middle to score Santiago. It was Negron's fourth hit of the game -- a career-high.