Arroyo holds Athletics at bay for victory
Right-hander gives up two runs on five hits over eight
OAKLAND -- You can almost hear the screech of the wheels under the Reds as they attempt to pull a 180-degree turn on their West Coast swing.
- 134 wins
- 118 wins
Following the disaster of being swept three games in Seattle with no offense, come back-to-back wins in Oakland. A 4-2 Reds win over the A's on Tuesday featured 13 hits and a stellar eight-inning pitching performance from Bronson Arroyo."When you get swept like we did in Seattle, you just take the mindset that you have to take at least two out of three from these guys and get back home feeling somewhat positive about what we've done," Arroyo said. [Wednesday], if we can take one more, we'll feel great about going 50-50 on the road." Second-place Cincinnati also kept pace with the first-place Cardinals and remains one game back in the National League Central. Arroyo (7-3), who won the seventh of his last eight decisions, set the tone well as he retired the first eight batters. A two-out, two-run homer by Coco Crisp in the Oakland fourth was the only real blemish of his evening. Arroyo gave up five hits and on the heels of walking a career-high six in his last start, did not walk a batter on Tuesday. "I didn't make any adjustments," Arroyo said. "Some days you can make free throws. Some days you can't. Last time out, I had horrible command. I just missed the plate a lot." Against A's starter Dallas Braden (4-7) and his relievers, the Reds spread the offense well around between the second-through-sixth spots in the order -- which went 10-for-24. Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce each collected three hits. The Reds could've capitalized more, but went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position while leaving 11 on base. But they got enough. It began when they took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Jonny Gomes and Bruce started it off with singles and were moved up on Drew Stubbs' first sacrifice bunt of the season. With two outs, Corky Miller flared a two-run single to left field that was missed by a diving Conor Jackson. In the third inning, Phillips led off with a single and scored on Joey Votto's RBI double to the wall in right field to make it 3-0. "That's the key -- to get production up and down the lineup," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We got a lot of hits today." Following the Crisp home run, Arroyo retired 15 of his last 18 batters. As he used his sinker well, he notched 12 of his 24 outs on the ground. A key play came in the eighth after Cliff Pennington's one-out single. Crisp grounded into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. "He was a little tricky," A's manager Bob Geren said of Arroyo. "He threw from a lot of different angles and a lot of different speeds. He made it tough, he did. He changed speeds -- I mean, the first pitch of the game was 74 [mph] followed up by an 89 the very next pitch. He had us pretty off-balance." Arroyo had 105 pitches after eight innings, and told Baker he was done. It would be up to Francisco Cordero to pitch the ninth one night after he blew his fifth save and used up 33 pitches before the Reds came back to win in 10 innings. "I had used up my reserve," Arroyo said. "I felt Coco had a better opportunity to get those lefties out with his power arm." Cordero kept up with his penchant for drama as leadoff hitter Daric Barton hit a soft roller up the middle for a single and went to third base with one out on Kurt Suzuki's hard single into right field off Votto's glove. But the game ended when Cordero got Ryan Sweeney to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. It gave Cordero 18 saves in 23 tries, and a nice 180-degree turn of his own following a lousy Monday night. "I always say if you give it up, the best thing that can happen is come back in the next day and get it done," Cordero said. "That's not a good taste when you blow the game. Being able to come back today and get it done, that made me feel a lot better."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.