Votto, Arroyo help Cincinnati sweep San Francisco
Arroyo was impressive on the mound, at the plate and on the basepaths, Votto went 4-for-4 with four RBIs, and the Cincinnati Reds beat San Francisco 9-3 to complete their first three-game sweep of the Giants at home in 14 years.
“It was a big day for him and a complete series for us,” manager Dusty Baker said, praising Arroyo’s third straight impressive start. “We scored a lot of runs, executed and played good defense.”
Arroyo bagged his first career stolen base in the second and hit a two-out, two-run double in the fifth to give the Reds a 5-2 lead. Arroyo’s swiped bag was propped up in his locker after the game.
“I guess they think I’m Rickey Henderson,” he said. “That’s my first one, and probably my only one. Maybe I’ll put it next to the pitching rubber they gave me for pitching a perfect game in Pawtucket.”
Jeff Keppinger had two hits and scored three runs for Cincinnati, which has won three straight for the first time since July 10-12. The Reds swept a three-game series against the Giants for the first time since April 24-26, 2001, and posted their first home three-game sweep of San Francisco since June 21-23, 1994.
“We stunk this weekend,” said manager Bruce Bochy, whose team was 15-11 in August before arriving in Cincinnati. “We know it. It was tough pitching this series. We were having a good month, but the way it ended wasn’t. They had been struggling, but we certainly woke up their bats in this series.”
Arroyo (13-10) allowed two runs and 10 hits in seven innings to win his third straight start. He has allowed just four runs in his last 23 innings and is 9-3 in 12 starts since lasting a career-low one-plus inning at Toronto on June 24.
“After Toronto, I had a couple of good games,” he said. “I switched the grip on my sinker. (Pitching coach) Dick Pole showed me a new grip. As you pitch longer and longer, especially in the National League, they made adjustments. Now I can throw the sinker away and get a lot of double-play balls.”
Emmanuel Burriss went deep for his first career home run for San Francisco, which has lost five of its last six. Pablo Sandoval hit his first career triple in the second and scored on Aaron Rowand’s single, and pinch-hitter Ivan Ochoa doubled in a run in the ninth.
Arroyo helped spark the Cincinnati offense. He beat out a double-play grounder in the second, swiped second and scored on Keppinger’s two-out bloop single to short left-center field. Keppinger later scored on Jay Bruce’s bases-loaded walk to make it 3-1.
Arroyo helped himself again with his big double off San Francisco starter Matt Cain in the fifth.
“We had a chance to get out of that, but I made a bad pitch to Bronson,” Cain said. “I have no one but myself to blame. That was the turning point.”
Votto drove in three with a bases-loaded double off Jack Taschner in the seventh that left fielder Fred Lewis appeared to misjudge at the warning track. He stumbled while trying to recover and got his glove on the ball, but couldn’t hang on to it.
“There was a crosswind that knocked that ball down,” Baker said. “I thought sure it was going off the wall or maybe out, but the wind knocked it down and messed Freddie up.”
Cain (8-11) allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings. He tied a season high by issuing five walks, and Giants pitchers also tied a season mark with nine walks overall.
“Walks have killed us all year,” Bochy said. “Enough’s enough. You have to pound the strike zone.”
The Reds optioned RHP Ramon Ramirez to Class A Sarasota, one day after he pitched seven solid innings in his major league debut. Ramirez is expected to be recalled when rosters can be expanded to 40 players on Sept. 1. … C Wilkin Castillo, one of players Cincinnati acquired from Arizona for Adam Dunn, was recalled from Triple-A Louisville. … San Francisco 3B Rich Aurilia batted third and Sandoval fourth for the first time this season. … Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti left the team during the game to catch a flight home due to a death in his family. … The Reds changed their rotation for the Pirates series, moving RHP Aaron Harang from Wednesday to Tuesday, RHP Edinson Volquez from Thursday to Wednesday and RHP Josh Fogg from Tuesday to Thursday. … It was Cincinnati’s first home sweep since it won four straight against Washington from July 3-6.