Go West, Young Reds

Published 3:29 am Tuesday, May 12, 2009

PHOENIX (AP) — Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker wondered if his team would be sluggish after playing 10 innings Sunday and then flying across three time zones.

He needn’t have worried.

With Willy Taveras matching a career high with five hits, the Reds opened a six-game Western swing with a 13-5 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night.

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‘‘Great way to start a road trip,’’ Baker said. ‘‘Most of the guys, this is the first time we’ve come West. Everybody woke up 5:30, 6 o’clock in the morning, including myself. That’s what you’re a little concerned about, but the guys responded big-time to it.’’

Adam Rosales added a homer and two doubles as the Reds set season highs in runs and hits (18).

‘‘Hopefully, our hitting’s here to stay,’’ Baker said.

Taveras, the leadoff man, set the table nicely. He wrapped four singles around a fourth-inning double.

Taveras, who scored four runs and drove in two, had five hits on April 25, 2007, at the New York Mets. He raised his average 32 points, to .315, and stretched his hitting streak to 12 games.

‘‘He’s been huge,’’ said teammate Jerry Hairston Jr., who doubled twice and drove in two runs. ‘‘Hopefully, he keeps it going.’’

Bronson Arroyo (5-2) allowed five runs and 10 hits in seven innings, striking out five.

The Reds jumped on Arizona starter Jon Garland (3-2) early, scoring one run in the first, three in the third and three in the fourth.

Down 4-0 in the third, Arizona cut its deficit in half on a two-run homer by Justin Upton, who stretched his hitting streak to 18 games.

The Reds answered quickly.

No. 7 hitter Laynce Nix led off the fourth with a home run high above the 20-foot-high yellow line in center field, estimated at 433 feet. Three pitches later, Rosales hit a 424-foot shot to left-center field, and Cincinnati’s lead was back to four.

Rosales marked his second homer in as many games by sprinting around the bases, just as he did after his first career homer on Sunday.

‘‘They brought their bats,’’ Arizona manager A.J. Hinch said. ‘‘They did a good job offensively of taking it to us. So we’ll dust ourselves off, come back tomorrow. We’ll play well tomorrow.’’

Garland left after 3 2-3 innings, allowing seven runs and 10 hits. He said his sinker wasn’t sinking.

‘‘I got a lot of pitches up tonight,’’ Garland said. ‘‘You’re facing a team like the Reds right now, who seem to be swinging the bats pretty well, you’re going to get hurt.’’

Arizona showed little life in losing for the third time in four games under Hinch, who replaced Bob Melvin last Friday.

In the first inning, the Diamondbacks failed to cover second base, allowing Hairston to stretch a single into a double without a throw. The Chase Field crowd of 17,640 erupted into boos in the sixth, when Joey Votto scored on a wild pitch by Bobby Korecky and Brandon Phillips raced from first to third while catcher Chris Snyder tried to find the ball.

The few remaining fans had a chance to chuckle when infielder Josh Wilson pitched a scoreless ninth, becoming the fifth Diamondbacks position player to take the mound. Wilson, who also went one inning for Tampa Bay in 2007, kept his career ERA at 0.00.

‘‘We’ll take the zero,’’ Hinch said.

Felipe Lopez had a homer, double and single for Arizona and Mark Reynolds hit his team-high eighth homer.

Notes: Baker said he had phoned Melvin, who was fired by Arizona last week, two years after he was named NL Manager of the Year. ‘‘Hey brother, as we all know, (it’s) what have you done for me lately?’’ Baker said. ‘‘He doesn’t like it, but he’s at peace with it.’’ … On Tuesday, Cincinnati RHP Micah Owings will make his first start against Arizona, the team that drafted him in 2005. On Sunday, Owings hit his sixth homer, and his second career pinch-hit homer. … Reds SS Alex Gonzalez, who has missed a week with a strained left oblique, threw and took batting practice without pain Monday. He will be examined again Tuesday. … Arizona SS Stephen Drew, on the DL since April 26 with a strained left hamstring, has been rehabbing at Triple-A Reno and may be back by the end of the series.