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Reds' Arroyo gets win after going 3-for-3 with four RBI

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- As an avid musician, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo knows all about hits.

But with his batting average, he was more likely to get a hit on the music charts than the baseball diamond.

On Saturday that tune changed as he broke an 0-for-27 hitless streak by going 3-for-3 with a career-high four RBI and pitched six strong innings to lead the Reds to a 7-5 win over the Houston Astros.

The performance was the most RBI by a pitcher since Houston's Wade Miller had four against St. Louis in September of 2003 and the most by a Reds pitcher since Jose Rijo's four in 1993.

Arroyo, whose CD "Covering the Bases" debuted at No. 2 on one Billboard chart last summer, had just six hits and three RBI in 84 career at-bats coming into Saturday's game. But he had a double and two singles to carry Cincinnati's offense, including RBI in the third, fifth and sixth innings, all against Andy Pettitte.

"It's a lucky day man," Arroyo said chuckling. "You're always surprised as a pitcher to get a hit. So to get three hits and four RBI is probably a career day for me. Every now and again people get lucky."

The win is Cincinnati's third straight and the loss is Houston's third in a row and its 20th in the last 28 games.

Arroyo (7-2) struck out six and allowed no earned runs with eight hits for the win.

Reds manager Jerry Narron seemed more impressed with Arroyo's pitching than his hitting. He liked how he struck out two players to end the sixth inning after Houston got runners on second and third.

"Bronson really came through tonight," Narron said. "In the sixth he showed what a big-time pitcher he is."

Giving up three hits to Arroyo, was especially tough for two-time All-Star Pettitte to take.

"It's embarrassing," Pettitte said. "The guy swings the bat three times and gets four RBI. So it's just unacceptable. He obviously was seeing the ball really well off of me."

Save for a solo home run by Ken Griffey Jr. in the fourth, the bottom part of the Reds lineup keyed the offense. Cincinnati's last three batters combined for six hits and six RBI and three runs in the first six innings.

Pettitte (4-7) didn't allow a hit until a triple by David Ross in the third inning. Arroyo followed with an RBI-single to left field to put the Reds up 1-0.

Griffey hit the 544th home run of his career in the fourth to make it 2-0.

Mike Lamb scored in the fourth on an error by Rich Aurilia when a grounder by Brad Ausmus bounced off his glove and he scrambled to scoop it up.

The Astros tied the game at 2-2 on an RBI-double by Eric Bruntlett that scored Ausmus.

Arroyo put Cincinnati back on top 3-2 when he followed a single by Ross with an RBI-double in the fifth.

"His hitting was incredible," Ross said. "I couldn't give him a hard time because I was too busy catching my breath rounding the bases every time he came up."

With two outs in the sixth, Pettitte gave up a double to Adam Dunn before intentionally walking Austin Kearns to load the bases. Edwin Encarnacion followed with an RBI-double that scored Dunn.

Pettitte, who was working on just three days rest, intentionally walked Ross to get to the career sub-.100 batter Arroyo. But the plan backfired as hot-hitting Arroyo hit a two-RBI single to left field to extend Cincinnati's lead to 7-2.

So has Arroyo found a new calling as a pinch hitter?

"No definitely not," Arroyo said amused. "I'm probably going for another 20 strikeouts in a row after this."

Pettitte allowed nine hits and seven runs and struck out two in six innings.

Houston added another unearned run in the seventh when Adam Everett scored after a Encarnacion overthrew first base.

The Astros scored two runs in the ninth on Craig Biggio's sacrifice fly and Morgan Ensberg's RBI single to make it 7-5.

Houston left 10 batters on base.

"We seem to get in a state of panic when we don't score runs," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "We get them on base and then we stall - seems like we've been doing it for the last 10 or 11 days."

Notes

  • At 27-29, the Astros are two games below .500 for the first time this season. They were 10 games above .500 at 19-9 on May 4.
  • Bruntlett has hit safely in the last six games.
  • Saturday marked just the 12th time that Pettitte had started on three days or less rest in his 13-year career.
  • The Reds are in the middle of a 10-day, nine-game road trip, their longest of the season. They are 3-2 so far.
 
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Bronson Arroyo strikes out six batters in six innings and allows no earned runs for the win.  (AP)
Bronson Arroyo strikes out six batters in six innings and allows no earned runs for the win. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

K. Griffey
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Cincinnati

B. Arroyo
IP 6.0
H 8
ER 0
BB 1
K 6
 
Cincinnati Reds
Brandon Phillips, 2B5000004
Felipe Lopez, SS4000100
Ken Griffey Jr., CF5131001
    Ryan Freel, PR-CF0000000
Rich Aurilia, 1B4100102
Adam Dunn, LF3120100
Austin Kearns, RF3100103
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B4112030
David Ross, C3220100
Bronson Arroyo, P3034000
    Chris Hammond, P0000000
   a- Jason LaRue, PH1000010
    David Weathers, P0000000
    Todd Coffey, P0000000
Totals3571175410 
a-struck out for Hammond in the 8th
Batting
2B - Adam Dunn (, Pettitte), Edwin Encarnacion (, Pettitte), Bronson Arroyo (, Pettitte)
3B - David Ross (, Pettitte)
HR - Ken Griffey Jr. (, Pettitte)
RBI - Ken Griffey Jr. (), Edwin Encarnacion 2 (), Bronson Arroyo 4 ()
2-OUT RBI - Edwin Encarnacion 2 (), Bronson Arroyo 3 ()
SB - Ryan Freel (, 2nd base off Qualls/Ausmus)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Ken Griffey Jr. 1
E - Rich Aurilia (, Misplayed grounder), Edwin Encarnacion (, Wild throw)
Cincinnati Reds
Bronson Arroyo (W,-) 6820160
Chris Hammond 1110100
David Weathers 1000000
Todd Coffey 1322000
HBP - Everett (by Todd Coffey)
Pitches-Strikes - Bronson Arroyo 107-71, Chris Hammond 16-8, David Weathers 6-5, Todd Coffey 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bronson Arroyo 7-4, Chris Hammond 3-1, David Weathers 1-2, Todd Coffey 1-2
Batters Faced - Bronson Arroyo 26, Chris Hammond 6, David Weathers 3, Todd Coffey 7
Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF5110000
Craig Biggio, 2B4011010
Lance Berkman, RF5020001
Morgan Ensberg, 3B3011210
Mike Lamb, 1B5120017
Preston Wilson, LF5010005
Brad Ausmus, C4110012
Eric Bruntlett, SS3011012
    Russ Springer, P0000000
    Trever Miller, P0000000
   a- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1000000
    Chad Qualls, P0000000
Andy Pettitte, P2010011
    Adam Everett, SS1210000
Totals3851232618 
a-flied out for Miller in the 8th
Batting
2B - Preston Wilson (, Arroyo), Eric Bruntlett (, Arroyo), Andy Pettitte (, Arroyo)
SF - Craig Biggio ()
RBI - Craig Biggio (), Morgan Ensberg (), Eric Bruntlett ()
2-OUT RBI - Eric Bruntlett ()
CS - Brad Ausmus (, 2nd base by Arroyo/Ross)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Bruntlett-Lamb, Biggio-Bruntlett-Lamb, Biggio-Bruntlett-Lamb
Houston Astros
Andy Pettitte (L,-) 6977421
Russ Springer 1100100
Trever Miller 1000020
Chad Qualls 1100000
IBB - Kearns by Andy Pettitte, by Ross
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 106-62, Russ Springer 23-15, Trever Miller 13-10, Chad Qualls 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 7-6, Russ Springer 1-2, Chad Qualls 2-1
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 28, Russ Springer 5, Trever Miller 3, Chad Qualls 4
Game Information
Attendance - 39653
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Rick Reed