Arizona (29-19) at Cincinnati (27-22)

Fair Currently: Cincinnati, OH
Temp: 68° F
  • Game info: 1:15 pm EDT Sun May 28, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Cincinnati Reds right-hander Bronson Arroyo has been tough to beat this season, but has been his most brilliant when he faces a team for the second time.

Arroyo makes his second start of the season against the Arizona Diamondbacks as the Reds look to avoid getting swept in their three-game series, which concludes Sunday.

Arroyo (6-2, 2.29 ERA), who spent the last three seasons with the Boston Red Sox before being acquired for Wily Mo Pena in spring training, won his first five decisions of the season before allowing three runs and a career-high 11 hits in 3-1 loss to the Diamondbacks (29-19) on May 6.

Arroyo, though, has been exceptional when he faces a team for the second time.

The right-hander has faced St. Louis, Washington, Milwaukee and the Chicago Cubs twice this season, and is 3-0 with a 0.58 ERA in the second meetings, allowing two runs in 31 innings while striking out 22. The Reds (27-22) have won all four of those games.

Arroyo is 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA in three May starts at Great American Ball Park, and allowed one run and six hits while striking out six in seven innings of a 15-5 win over the Brewers on Monday.

After starting the season 23-12, Cincinnati has dropped 10 of its last 14 games.

The Reds went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position in Saturday’s 7-0 defeat, and have scored just two runs in their last four losses while going 1-for-28 (.036) with runners in scoring position.

“We’re not swinging the bats real well right now,” Cincinnati manager Jerry Narron. “We’re not stringing together any hits. It’s disappointing. We had runners in scoring position, we just couldn’t get any key hits.”

Ken Griffey Jr. is 1-for-12 (.083) in his last three games, while leadoff hitter Felipe Lopez is 1-for-10 in that span.

Diamondbacks rookie Enrique Gonzalez (0-0, 0.00) will make his major league debut against the struggling Reds offense when he takes the mound on Sunday.

The 23-year-old right-hander went 4-3 with a 2.24 ERA in 10 starts for Triple-A Tucson this season. He’s pitched his best ball recently, going 2-0 with a 0.74 ERA in his last four starts.

“I like his make-up,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. “He seems to be a tough kid.”

The first-place Diamondbacks have a 1 1/2 game lead over Los Angeles in the NL West, and have won five straight games. They are outscoring their opponents 29-13 during the winning streak, and are 4-1 against Cincinnati this season.

Arizona center fielder Eric Byrnes extended his season-high hitting streak to 11 games, and is 18-for-49 (.367) with six doubles and four home runs during that stretch.

Second baseman Orlando Hudson went 3-for-4 with his first homer of the season on Saturday. He is 7-for-12 (.583) with four runs in his last three games.

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Starting Pitchers

E. Gonzalez Det vs. B. Arroyo LAD
3-7 Record 14-11
5.67 ERA 3.29
66 K 184
34 BB 64
1.39 WHIP 1.19