D-Backs win laugher over Reds

Published 11:43 pm Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Associated Press

PHOENIX — The Cincinnati Reds were beaten so badly in Arizona that Brandon Phillips thought it was funny.

The Diamondbacks’ 13-2 rout in their home opener Friday night was a laughter all right, except usually that refers to the winning team’s’ feelings, not the losers.

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“Honestly I am glad it happened,” the Reds’ Phillips said. “I am glad it happened because it is a wake up call for us. All we can do is learn from what happened tonight. They just had fun and honestly I thought it was funny. It was funny because if you are going to lose a game I would rather lose like that instead of by one run.”

“We can,” Phillips noted, “still win the series.”

The Diamondbacks gave their starter Ian Kennedy a little lead to work with early, then sent him away with a rousing blowout victory in front of a big, happy home-opening crowd.

The right-hander struck out nine in eight dominant innings for Arizona.

“They won’t all be this easy,” a smiling Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said.

The Reds lost their second straight after starting the season 5-0. All those runs they were scoring early have mostly vanished, or switched to the opposing side.

“The last two games we ran into some pretty good pitching. (Houston’s) Randy Myers led the league in quality starts and we had action and had the opportunity to win the game,” manager Dusty Baker said of the team’s 3-2 loss to Brett Myers and the Astros on Thursday. “Today we didn’t have much action at all. Both those guys pitched good games against us.”

Baker knows pitchers will be up for the challenge when they face the Reds.

“My boys can hit and pitchers are going to throw their best games against us,” he said. “We just have to prepare for it.”

Justin Upton homered, drove in two runs and scored three times in the Diamondbacks’ highest-scoring home opener since the franchise was born in 1998. Kelly Johnson had a three-run home run and Chris Young a solo shot for Arizona. All three home runs came off reliever Matt Maloney.

Xavier Nady doubled in two runs off lefty Travis Wood (1-1). Arizona’s Miguel Montero was 3 for 3, two of them doubles, to boost his batting average to .545 (12 for 22).

“I was missing with some pitches and they made me pay for it,” Wood said. “After the first two (innings) I kind of settled down a little bit but I was still missing. I was able to just get a little bit better but it eventually caught up to me. … They hit the ball all over the place.”

Kennedy (1-0), who had no decision as the opening-day starter in Arizona’s 7-6 win at Colorado a week earlier, allowed six hits and walked one against the powerful Reds batting order.

Kennedy gave Montero much of the credit, saying he shook off the pitches maybe twice the entire night.

Wood allowed six runs on six hits in five-plus innings as the Reds, in their first game away from home, lost their second straight after starting the season 5-0.

Stephen Drew, in his first time in the lineup this season after being sidelined with a lower abdominal strain, doubled in one of Arizona’s two first-inning runs. Upton singled in the other. After Montero’s leadoff double in the second and a sacrifice bunt by Kennedy, Arizona’s third run came home on Wood’s wild pitch.

The Reds got a run in the third on singles by Paul Janish and Drew Stubbs, followed by Phillips’ RBI sacrifice fly.

It stayed 3-1 until the Diamondbacks broke it open in the sixth. Upton walked on four pitches, Young singled, then Drew walked to load the bases with no outs. Nady lashed a double to left to bring in two runs and Wood’s night was over. Things just got worse for the Reds after that.

Willie Bloomquist, moved from shortstop to left field when Drew returned, was 2 for 5 with a double and scored twice.

After Upton’s solo homer in the seventh, Arizona scored six times in the eighth. Three came on Johnson’s home run to right. Montero had an RBI double, Bloomquist a run-scoring single and Young a solo homer in the frame.

NOTES: Arizona has won five straight home openers. … Attendance was announced as 48,027 and a sellout, although there were plenty of empty seats in the ballpark. The media guide lists capacity at 48,633. … Baker still needs two wins to become the 11th manager in major league history to have at least 250 wins with each of three teams. … Baker noted it was a quick return to Arizona, where the Reds held their spring training in the Phoenix suburb of Goodyear for the second year in a row after 63 springs in Florida.