The Cincinnati Reds may be in the midst of their longest road losing streak in more than a year, but they’re still in control of the NL Central.
Arroyo looks to set a career high in wins when the Reds face the Houston Astros in the middle game of this series Saturday night.
Cincinnati (83-65) has lost six in a row on the road, its longest such skid since dropping eight straight from July 11-26, 2009.
The Reds’ road woes continued Friday as they fell 5-3 to the Astros (71-76) to open a nine-game trip. They failed to take full advantage of consecutive home series with Pittsburgh and Arizona just before the road stretch, going 4-3 against the teams with the worst records in the NL.
“We just have to keep swinging, and soon I just feel that we are going to break out,” manager Dusty Baker said.
Despite the recent funk, Cincinnati is cruising toward its first division title since 1995. The club leads the Central by six games with 14 to play.
Arroyo (15-10, 4.05 ERA) goes for a career high in wins as he looks to stop the Reds’ losing streak.
The right-hander clinched a third consecutive 15-win season Monday, yielding two runs with a season-high eight strikeouts in six innings of a 7-2 victory over Arizona. He had lost his three previous starts with a 6.75 ERA.
“I’ve definitely been proud of myself and my career for taking the ball every day and trying to be as consistent as possible knowing I don’t have spectacular CC Sabathia(notes) stuff,” Arroyo told the team’s official website. “To have 15 (wins) three years in a row is definitely satisfying.”
Arroyo appears to have a very good chance to get the milestone win Saturday. He has won his last five starts against Houston with a 1.86 ERA, throwing two complete games.
He is 2 1-3 innings shy of reaching 200 for a sixth consecutive season.
Cincinnati has won seven of 10 meetings with Houston, which has gone 18-7 in its last 25 games but remains well out of playoff contention.
“We’ve been playing good over a month, solid baseball every day,” closer Brandon Lyon(notes) said after getting his 17th save Friday. “It seems like we’re in every game. It’s good when you’re not playing for the playoff push but you’re playing for jobs next year and making the team. Everyone is playing hard.”
The right-hander’s last three starts have resulted in Houston victories. He is 2-0 with a 5.52 ERA in that span.
Figueroa didn’t allow a hit through three innings against Los Angeles on Sunday, but gave up four runs in the fourth and was pulled with two outs in the fifth in a 7-4 win Sunday.
Figueroa is 1-0 with a 4.09 ERA in 11 games - one start - against Cincinnati.