Bronson Arroyo has seemingly been a different pitcher at Great American Ball Park, experiencing much more success there compared to the road.
He’ll look to stay hot in Cincinnati and help the Reds to a sixth win in eight games Sunday against the Seattle Mariners.
Arroyo (7-6, 3.50 ERA) hadn’t seen a significant variation between his home and away starts in his first six seasons with Cincinnati, going 43-39 with a 3.95 ERA at home, compared to a 48-43 mark with a 4.23 ERA on the road.
This season, however, has been a different story.
The right-hander is 6-1 with a 2.42 ERA at home - with the Reds (50-37) winning nine of his 11 starts - while he’s 1-5 with a 5.70 ERA in six outings at other stadiums. Arroyo’s been particularly tough over his last seven starts in Cincinnati, compiling a 4-0 record and 1.71 ERA.
One of his more dominant outings came Monday as he limited San Francisco to a run and two hits in six innings. Arroyo was credited with his 14th career complete game and first since July 6, 2012, in a rain-shortened 8-1 victory.
“I’ll take it,” said Arroyo, who permitted a season-high seven runs over four innings in his previous start at Oakland on June 25. “It might be the only complete game I get all year. On the back of my baseball card 20 years from now, nobody will know the difference.”
Including a 4-2 loss in Friday’s series opener, the Reds averaged 3.0 runs while going 10-11 since a 12-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on June 11. They broke out of their offensive funk with Saturday’s 13-4 victory over the Mariners (38-49), as Jay Bruce Jack Hannahan and Cesar Izturis combined to go 7 for 12 with eight RBIs.
They helped chase Seattle starter Jeremy Bonderman after five innings in which he gave up six runs. Joe Saunders (6-8, 4.74) will try to pick up the staff after holding Texas to two runs despite 10 hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 9-2 road win Tuesday.
Saunders had previously logged his shortest outing of the season, surrendering six runs in 1 2-3 innings on June 25 against Pittsburgh.
“I wanted to work down in the zone and try to get ahead, something I haven’t been doing, and throw strikes,” he said after beating the Rangers.
The left-hander will have to overcome his past struggles against Cincinnati, having gone 0-2 with a 6.04 ERA in four starts.
Arroyo is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in four games - three starts - versus the Mariners, but hasn’t seen them since 2007.
Although his strikeout per nine innings rate of 4.88 is one of the lowest in baseball, Arroyo could look to take advantage of a Seattle team that has been swinging and missing a lot lately. The Mariners struck out 14 times Saturday, bringing their total to 41 over the last four contests.
Kyle Seager was the only Seattle starter to not strike out Saturday, going 2 for 3 with a two-run homer. He’s 12 for 23 with three home runs and seven RBIs during a six-game hitting streak.
Raul Ibanez sat out, but could look to extend his hitting streak to 12 games Sunday as he’s 5 for 12 off Arroyo.