Rolen, Arroyo lead Reds by Dodgers, 2-1
CINCINNATI (AP) — Scott Rolen takes pride in his ability to drive in runs, so this streak was gnawing at him.
The All-Star third baseman can relax now. It’s over.
Rolen snapped a stretch of seven games without an RBI, coming up with a two-run single with two out in the fifth inning to send Bronson Arroyo and the Reds to a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.
“I still like to measure how things are going by things like average and runs batted in and runs scored,” said Rolen, who hadn’t driven in a run since May 24 in Philadelphia. “RBIs and runs scored are big things for me, and it’s painful to go through a drought like that.
“I haven’t done a postgame interview in a while,” he added with a smile. “I’m excited.”
Arroyo (4-5) allowed one run and five hits in six innings, enough for his first win in seven starts since a 9-5 victory at Milwaukee on April 25. The right-hander, still dealing with the aftereffects of mononucleosis he contracted during spring training, was 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in his previous three outings.
“May wasn’t too kind to me,” Arroyo said. “It’s June. Hopefully, I’ll get a few wins this month. Actually, I felt worse stuff-wise tonight than I did the last couple of times. This game is funny. Sometimes, you have to be lucky. I threw some balls down the middle that they either popped up or hit into the ground. Sometimes, you avoid the barrel of the bat. Sometimes, you don’t.”
Logan Ondrusek and Nick Masset each got three outs before Francisco Cordero turned in a perfect ninth to earn his 11th save in 13 opportunities this season and No. 301 for his career, snapping a tie with Bruce Sutter for 21st place on the saves list.
The Reds have won back-to-back games for the first time since a five-game winning streak from May 13 through May 17.
Manager Dusty Baker hopes the win means Arroyo has turned a corner.
“A lot of times, when you stop a bad streak, you start a good one,” Baker said. “Hopefully, he’ll get on great streak like we’ve seen him do.”
Hiroki Kuroda (5-6) allowed six hits and walked four in six innings for the Dodgers, dropping to 3-1 with a 2.55 ERA in four career starts against Cincinnati. The right-hander has lost his last three starts overall.
The teams left a combined 15 runners on base, eight by the Reds. The Dodgers have scored one run in their last two games after producing a combined 15 in back-to-back wins over Colorado on Monday and Tuesday.
Manager Don Mattingly believes his players got a little overconfident.
“We got a little giddy, scoring all of those runs,” he said. “We have to put guys in the best spots to score runs and protect (Andre) Ethier and (Matt) Kemp.”
The Dodgers loaded the bases with nobody out in the fourth. Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp singled and Jay Gibbons was hit by a pitch before James Loney produced a sacrifice fly to give Los Angeles the lead. Kemp was tagged out in a rundown off second on Loney’s line drive, taking the steam out of what could have been a big inning for L.A.
“His thinking was OK,” Mattingly said. “He thought the ball might go through, and he got a little bit too far into no-man’s land.”
Arroyo was grateful for the break.
“I had a few innings that could have blown up in my face,” he said. “I’ll take a win any way I can get it.”
Cincinnati responded in the fifth. Drew Stubbs singled to center with one out and Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, the reigning National League player of the month, walked with two down. Rolen then lined a base hit into center field.
“I got behind in the count,” Kuroda said. “I got myself in trouble. They have a lot of power, especially in this ballpark. I guess I was too careful.”
NOTES: Dodger SS Rafael Furcal left after two innings with an injury to his left side. He was hurt throwing out Bruce at third base after Bruce was caught off second on a missed sacrifice attempt. … Los Angeles rookie RHP Rubby De La Rosa will make what would have been Jon Garland’s next start, Mattingly said. Garland, experiencing shoulder problems, did not travel with the team to Cincinnati. De La Rosa, the Dodgers’ 2010 minor league pitcher of the year, is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three relief appearances since making his major league debut Tuesday. … Reds 2B Brandon Phillips did not start, as much to give him back-to-back days off as to give his right wrist a chance to heal, Baker said. Phillips was hit by a pitch Wednesday.