San Francisco Giants right-hander Johnny Cueto was rocked in his long-awaited return from the 60-day disabled list, getting roughed up early in Thursday night's 11-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park.
Cueto gave up four runs in the first inning, one more than he had in 32 innings before going out with right elbow inflammation.
He went five innings, allowing five runs on 10 hits, including two home runs. He had two strikeouts and two walks.
"Everything was fine, except in the first inning, when I was trying to be too fine,'' Cueto said. "Instead of just pitching, I was just trying to place the ball in the strike zone. I just have to continue working my way back to where I was.''
Cueto allowed three runs total before going on the disabled list April 22. He got off to a fast start for the Giants this season, going 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA, 26 strikeouts and six walks in 32 innings before being sidelined.
They are set to get more reinforcements, with right-hander Jeff Samardzija (shoulder) to be activated from the disabled list this weekend.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.