OAKLAND, Calif. -- After a rough 2-5 trip, the Oakland A's faced what appeared to be a tough assignment Tuesday night when they opened a homestand against the Cincinnati Reds and right-hander Bronson Arroyo.
Arroyo had allowed a combined five earned runs in four previous June starts, posting an ERA of 1.57.
So much for Arroyo's shutdown month.
The A's battered Arroyo for seven earned runs on seven hits in a 7-3 interleague victory at O.co Coliseum as they pulled back into a tie for first place with Texas in the American League West. Arroyo lasted just four innings, his shortest outing since July 16, 2012, when he gave up five runs in three innings in a loss to Arizona.
The A's scored twice in second inning, four times in the third and once in the fourth off Arroyo, building a 7-1 lead.
A's third baseman Josh Donaldson crushed a two-run homer off Arroyo in the third. He went 2-for-2, scored twice and drove in two runs while Arroyo was in the game. Josh Reddick and Brandon Moss both doubled off him in the second.
"We knew he came in there with the soft stuff, rarely threw something firm," Reddick said. "I think everybody got a good look at video, saw what he threw and just picked up the rotation real well. You know you're not going to get a whole lot of heaters, so you've just got to go out there expecting you're going to get something off-speed."
The A's stacked their lineup with left-handed hitters against Arroyo and often went the opposite way instead of trying to pull his breaking pitches.
"They just gave me an approach I didn't expect to see," Arroyo said, whether it was accidental or not. "They stayed inside on some balls early in the ballgame. They hit some soft stuff in the gaps. I didn't really expect that approach from those guys."
The A's hitters also attacked early in the count before Arroyo could get ahead. In the first two innings, Arroyo gave up six hits, four of them on his first pitch of the at-bat and two on the second.
"Their game plan must have been to swing at the first pitch knowing that Bronson throws strikes, because they were attacking first pitch," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Most of them were up. We were just hoping he would start getting the ball down and get deeper in the game so we wouldn't have to go to our whole bullpen."
A's left-hander Tommy Milone allowed only three runs on six hits, but he lasted just 4 2/3 innings and received no decision. He's 0-2 over his past four starts and hasn't won since June 3 at Milwaukee.
Cincinnati's Joey Votto hit his 14th homer of the season, a solo shot in the fourth. Reds rookie left fielder Derrick Robinson had a career-high four hits, going 4-for-5, while second baseman Cesar Izturis went 3-for-4 with a double.
A's relievers Pat Neshek, Jerry Blevins, Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle and Dan Otero combined to blank Cincinnati over the final 4 1/3 innings. Reds relievers Curtis Partch, Marry Parra and J.J. Hoover combined to pitch four scoreless innings, allowing zero hits.
Coco Crisp started the A's third-inning rally with a walk and moved to second on Jed Lowrie's one-out single. Yoenis Cespedes lined an RBI single to right, as Crisp scored and Lowrie advanced to third. Moss brought Lowrie home with a sacrifice fly to right, making it 4-0. Donaldson sent Arroyo's next pitch, a slider, high and deep into the left-field seats for a two-run homer.
"What was weird about it was I was going to take the entire time," Donaldson said. "And then I saw it pretty well out of his hand. I saw it getting a lot of the plate and I decided to swing and was able to hit it."
NOTES: Cincinnati 2B Brandon Phillips is missing this two-game series while tending to a family matter, the Reds announced. He's expected to rejoin the team Friday at Texas. According to MLB.com's transactions page, the Reds placed Phillips on the paternity list. INF Henry Rodriguez was recalled Tuesday from Triple-A Louisville, taking Phillips' roster spot. ... Heisey (strained right hamstring) was activated from the disabled list and started at designated hitter against the A's. OF Donald Lutz was sent to Double-A Pensacola, opening a spot on the 25-man roster for Heisey. ... The A's played their first game at O.co Coliseum since June 16 against Seattle when raw sewage contaminated parts of both clubhouses and the umpires' room. A hazmat company located and removed a large "mass" that had blocked the sewer line, said David Rinetti, A's vice president of stadium operations. Large segments of carpet and drywall were replaced. "Anything that could have been contaminated was removed," Rinetti said.