Arroyo tries again for a career high-tying 15th win of the season and National League Central-leading Cincinnati shoots for a sixth straight victory over Arizona this evening in the start of a four-game series at Great American Ball Park.
After struggling through a five-game losing streak, a stretch that included a four-game sweep at the hands of the red-hot Colorado Rockies from Sept. 6-9, the Reds appeared to get some momentum back with a pair of extra-inning victories over the NL Central cellar-dwelling Pittsburgh Pirates.
In position to record a sweep of its own, Cincinnati instead saw Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen double home three runs with two outs in the top of the ninth inning off closer Francisco Cordero to put the Pirates up, 3-1. That margin held when Chris Heisey struck out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the frame to end the game.
"You win two out of three and you're sad," said Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker. "Usually it's not like that. We had a chance but know we have to come back [Monday] like we always do."
Cincinnati will look to rebound versus an Arizona club that it has beaten in five straight, 10 of 11 and 16 of the last 19 meetings. The Reds are 7-2 at home versus the D-Backs in that span and swept a three-game set at Arizona when the clubs last met from Aug. 17-19.
The Reds had a six-game overall home winning streak halted on Sunday and saw their edge over the second-place Cardinals dip to six games. With St. Louis hosting Chicago, Cincinnati will look to at least maintain that advantage tonight behind Arroyo, who will try for a fourth straight start to match his career-high win total set in the previous two seasons.
Arroyo had dropped each of his last three outings to fall to 14-10 with a 4.09 earned run average and was tagged for seven runs on eight hits -- including three homers -- and walked three over 4 1/3 innings Wednesday versus the Rockies. It marked the right-hander's shortest outing since also going 4 1/3 frames on May 31.
Arroyo, 33, bested the Diamondbacks on Aug. 17 with 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball, improving to 2-3 with a 4.83 ERA lifetime versus the club. He'll face an Arizona team tonight that has lost seven of its last eight and dropped a 4-2 decision to Colorado on Sunday to get swept in that three-game set.
However, the bullpen gave up a pair of runs in the seventh frame before Colorado won it on Jason Giambi's pinch-hit two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.
"We did not play well at all; let's not sugarcoat it," said interim manager Kirk Gibson on Arizona's website. "We played poorly against a very good team. We allowed [Rockies manager Jim Tracy] to get to a veteran bench player. That's why they have them on a very good team."
Gibson will get to see how Barry Enright responds from the worst outing of his brief career when he pitches tonight.
After not allowing more than three runs in any of his first 12 starts, the 2007 second-round pick was drilled for six runs, three homers and nine hits over six innings of a loss to the Giants on Tuesday. Enright had a three-start and five-decision winning streak end as the 24-year-old lost for the first time since July 11.
Enright, a right-hander, is 6-3 with a 2.95 ERA this year and faces the Reds for the first time.