The Reds have won 16 of 19 against the last-place Diamondbacks, who look to play spoiler as they open a four-game set Monday night in Cincinnati.
The Reds (81-62) didn’t look much like a playoff team in Colorado last week, getting swept in four games before heading home to face Pittsburgh over the weekend.
Cincinnati came away with one-run wins Friday and Saturday. The Reds seemed headed for another in Sunday’s finale, but Francisco Cordero(notes) couldn’t hold a 1-0 lead, allowing Andrew McCutchen’s(notes) three-run double that was the difference in a 3-1 loss.
It was Cordero’s second blown save of the series, but manager Dusty Baker defended his closer.
“It’s terrible for Coco,” Baker said. “We need him. He’s our closer. Nobody else is ready. People are hollering for somebody else, but what if you bring somebody in and he doesn’t do the job? The Phillies won a World Series with Brad Lidge(notes), and he blew several (saves).”
Cordero’s meltdown cost the Reds a shot at clinching their first winning season since 2000, but they still have a comfortable lead over second-place St. Louis in the NL Central.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Cincinnati add to its cushion this week. The Reds have held Arizona (57-86) to barely more than three runs per game while going 16-3 in the series since April 11, 2007.
Bruce is expected to miss a 12th straight game Monday with pain in his right side, though Baker says the outfielder could start Tuesday.
He’ll miss facing Monday’s probable starter Barry Enright(notes) (6-3, 2.95 ERA), one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disastrous season for Arizona. However, after Enright delivered eight quality starts in nine outings, San Francisco reached the rookie right-hander for six runs and nine hits - three homers - over six innings of a 6-3 loss Tuesday.
“They were seeing me for the third time now and they knew what to expect, but those are adjustments that I’m going to have to make from pitch one, not (in the) second, third, fourth inning,” Enright told the Diamondbacks’ official website.
Cincinnati will be seeing Enright, who’s 2-0 with a 2.17 ERA on the road, for the first time.
Like Enright, he’ll be looking to bounce back from a shaky outing. Arroyo also gave up three homers, part of the seven runs he allowed over 4 1-3 innings Wednesday in a 9-2 loss to the Rockies.
“They beat me straight up,” Arroyo told the Reds’ official website. “They hit the ball all over the place.”
Arroyo is 2-2 with a 4.74 ERA in seven starts against the Diamondbacks. He held them to two runs over 7 1-3 innings in a 6-2 win Aug. 17.