Royals get Cueto in trade with Reds

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals have acquired ace right-hander Johnny Cueto in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds, bolstering their chances of returning to the World Series.

The Royals began the day with the best record in the American League. Now they add Cueto to a rotation that lost Jason Vargas to a season-ending elbow injury last week.

The scuffling Reds received left-handers Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed in Sunday’s deal. Finnegan was Kansas City’s first-round pick in last year’s draft.

Cueto, who is eligible for free agency after the season, was one of the top starters on the market. He pitched eight scoreless innings in Cincinnati’s 5-2 victory at Colorado on Saturday.

Cueto won 20 games last season and is 7-6 with a 2.62 ERA in 19 starts this year.