The Cincinnati Reds were riding a three-game losing streak and watched their lead in the divisional race disappear to the Pittsburgh Pirates as they began game number two against the San Diego Padres Friday night. The Reds finally came through with the bats and defeated the Padres 6-0.
The story of the night for the Cincinnati Reds was Bronson Arroyo. He continued the incredible starting pitching the Reds have gotten lately. Actually, the Reds have a run now of 9 straight games with quality starts. That is, by far, the longest streak this season. It is, in fact, the longest since 2009.
The main line for Bronson Arroyo (4-5) was a complete game shut out. The Cincinnati Reds’ righthander allowed only three hits – all singles. He struck out 8 and allowed only 1 base-on-balls. Arroyo improved his ERA to 3.37.
At the plate, the Cincinnati Reds used the long ball to fuel the win. 5 of their 6 runs came via the homerun. Zack Cozart started the game with a homer. Ryan Hanigan followed up with a 2-run shot in the 7th and Todd Frazier added another 2-run shot in the 8th. All total, the Cincinnati Reds collected 12 hits.
This offensive output coming from the same team that mustered 1 run in each of the last three games. It also showed that the Reds must, simply must learn how to win with the short game. Those long balls will not show up in October. Base running mistakes (Brandon Phillips, anyone) and the inability to move runners over (any number of hitters) or in when in scoring position just killed them during the losing streak.
But for now, Cincinnati Reds’ fans will relish the win and hope to finish out the first half of the season back in first place as these same two teams go at it again on Saturday and Sunday in San Diego.