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Arroyo blanks Giants for 100th win as a Red

The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO -- Career win No. 100 for Bronson Arroyo was win No. 1 on the Cincinnati Reds' 10-day, 11-game road trip.

Afterward, the veteran right-hander had no doubt which number was most important.

"The times we've slid out here on the West Coast, we've gotten off to a slow start," Arroyo noted Monday night after the Reds' 11-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants in the opener of a four-game series.

"It was important for us to get off good," he continued, "and this is about as good as you can get."

Shin-Soo Choo doubled on Tim Lincecum's sixth pitch, and Todd Frazier smacked a three-run double later in the inning as the Reds teed off on the Giants' no-hit pitcher en route to the runaway victory.

Arroyo (9-7) recorded his milestone win with a seven-hit shutout as the Reds began a lengthy swing through San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego by continuing a 2013 mastery of the Giants that's now reached four consecutive wins by a total score of 25-3.

"What a way to start a road trip," gushed Reds manager Dusty Baker. "I don't think I've ever seen that prior to a double-header. I couldn't have crafted it better."

The Reds and Giants meet in a double-header Tuesday, with the nightcap serving as the make-up of a July 4 rainout in Cincinnati.

The shutout was the first of the season and sixth of his career for Arroyo, who was part of two combined shutouts earlier this year. He struck out six and didn't walk a batter for the third time this season in his first complete game of the year.

Center fielder Derrick Robinson saved Arroyo's shutout by reaching over the fence, bobbling and then catching pinch hitter Jeff Francoeur's blast to end the game.

"I don't usually make it through a game without giving up a solo homer," noted Arroyo, the Reds' all-time leader in home runs allowed. "Derrick went up and got it in style. What a way to wrap it up."

Devin Mesoraco, Choo and Jay Bruce added solo home runs off Lincecum (5-10), who no-hit the San Diego Padres in his previous start, July 13. Mesoraco, who had a single, double and homer, and Bruce finished with two RBIs apiece.

Eleven Reds contributed to the team's 17-hit assault on four Giants pitchers.

"You only get these games maybe twice a year," Arroyo said of the overwhelming support. "It's nice to be on the receiving end of all those runs."

The Reds ran their record to 9-0 in Arroyo starts following a loss. The right-hander has allowed two or fewer runs in each of his past 10 starts against the Giants.

"To win means a lot to me," Arroyo assured. "One-hundred doesn't mean that much. It makes me realize I've been here for a while."

Cincinnati quickly preserved Johnny Vander Meer's place in history as the only major-leaguer to throw back-to-back no-hitters. Leadoff batter Choo's slicing liner to left, a ball misplayed and then nearly caught by a diving Gregor Blanco, fell in for a double to end any back-to-back thoughts before many in the sellout crowd had settled into their seats.

Interestingly, the game-opening hit did duplicate a piece of Giants history. The last time a Giant pitched a no-hitter -- Matt Cain's perfect game against the Houston Astros last June -- he gave up a hit to the first batter he faced in his next game. Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels greeted Cain with that hit.

Five batters after Lincecum lost his no-hitter, the shutout was gone as well. Frazier's two-out, bases-loaded blast went over the head of Giants center fielder Andres Torres and scored Robinson, Brandon Phillips and Bruce.

Robinson, who bunted for a hit in the first, had three singles in the game and scored three runs.

Lincecum allowed a career-worst eight runs on nine hits and one walk in 3 2/3 innings. After striking out a season-high 13 in his no-hitter, he fanned just two Reds, a season low.

The former two-time Cy Young Award winner offered no excuses despite having thrown 148 pitches in the no-hitter, then not pitching for nine days.

"You've just got be prepared for it and come back strong, but I didn't today," he said of the lengthy layoff. "I felt just as normal out there as I have in recent starts, so there is no toll (from the 148 pitches)."

NOTES: Choo's game-opening double extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games. ... Giants starting pitchers had allowed two or fewer runs in six of the team's previous seven games. ... Giants LHP Barry Zito will pitch the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader, during which San Francisco will be wearing its road grays. Something will have to give, as the veteran left-hander has been great at home this season (4-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 11 starts) but terrible in his road uniform (0-6 with a 9.89 ERA in eight starts). ... Neither pitcher scheduled for the Reds in the doubleheader was on the roster for Monday's game. The first-game starter, LHP Tony Cingrani, is expected to be added to the roster as a 26th man (permitted in doubleheaders only) before the game, and second-game starter RHP Greg Reynolds will have to replace one of the 26 before he's activated during the 30-minute break between contests. Both have been pitching at Triple-A Louisville ... The Giants also will dip into the minor leagues for a starter Tuesday, with LHP Eric Surkamp expected to be promoted from Triple-A Fresno for his first major league start since undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left elbow last July.
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