The Reds finally emerged from the funk of a 2-8 West Coast trip that pushed them back in the pack of NL wild card contenders. They reached a new season-low point—two games under .500—by dropping the series opener on Monday.
Pitching in a dire situation on only three days of rest, Arroyo (12-9) got Cincinnati turned around. The right-hander struck out seven and walked one, allowing only one runner to get into scoring position.
A day after the Giants reached .500 for the first time since July 27, they slid back down because they couldn’t touch Arroyo or overcome a wild first inning by Matt Morris (10-12), who walked four of his first eight batters.
Barry Bonds went 0-for-3 with a walk, ending his streak of three straight games with a homer. Bonds remains 25 shy of Hank Aaron’s career homer mark, and three away from his NL record.
Ken Griffey Jr. was out of Cincinnati’s lineup, a day after he dislocated a toe on his right foot while trying to catch Bonds’ 730th career homer. There’s no guess when he might be back.
Working on short rest for only the third time in his career, Arroyo looked fresh throughout his fourth complete game of the season. He didn’t allow a hit until the fifth, when Eliezer Alfonzo and Morris singled with two outs.
The right-hander kept the Giants off-balance by throwing every pitch in his repertoire—he even threw a sidearm, 69 mph changeup that froze Bonds.
Morris couldn’t find the strike zone when he took the mound for the first time, and it cost him. He repeatedly gashed the dirt with his cleats and fidgeted on the mound, looking mightily uncomfortable while Cincinnati rallied with his help.
His first eight pitches were out of the strike zone, spotting the Reds a couple of runners. Cincinnati took advantage by scoring on Aurilia’s broken-bat single, Edwin Encarnacion’s sacrifice fly and Todd Hollandworth’s double.
The Giants got a break in the third inning, when a jarring tumble by Hollandsworth cost the Reds a run. Hollandsworth would have scored easily on Brandon Phillips’ double to left, but lost his balance as he rounded third and fell on his chest, forcing him to go back. He wound up stranded when Arroyo bunted into the final out with the bases loaded.
Alfonzo was back in the starting lineup, a day after he had to leave a game after getting hit on the left forearm by a fastball. The rookie has caught 65 of 86 games since he was called up from Double-A. … RHP Sun-Woo Kim, obtained by the Reds on Tuesday from Colorado, will start the final game of the series on Wednesday. … Cincinnati closer Eddie Guardado will have another medical test on Wednesday to see why his left forearm is still sore. He’s eligible to come off the DL.