Arroyo takes matters into own hands to get win

Published 4:25 am Thursday, September 22, 2011

CINCINNATI (AP) — Trying to move closer toward a personal goal, Bronson Arroyo took matters into his own hands.

Arroyo pitched a six-hitter and the Cincinnati Reds wrapped up their home schedule Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Houston Astros.

Arroyo takes pride in pitching 200 innings a season, as he has done in each of the past six seasons. With two starts left, he was 18 innings short and needed two complete games to reach the milestone.

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One is in the books.

“I’ve said my whole career, I’d like to come in one day and have the manager tell me I have nine innings, even if I give up 14 runs,” Arroyo said. “Durability is the mark of a starting pitcher.”

Arroyo has had a frustrating year, setting a team record by allowing 44 home runs. That’s four short of the NL record and six shy of the major league mark.

“People were talking about taking him out of the rotation so he didn’t break the home run record,” manager Dusty Baker said.

“I’m glad for him. It’s been a tough year for him. He’s a man. He competes as hard as any player I’ve been around. I wouldn’t bet against him getting his 200 innings.”

Miguel Cairo homered as Cincinnati finished 42-39 at Great American Ball Park. The Reds drew 2,213,498 this season, an increase of 152,948 over last year’s attendance when they won the NL Central.

The game took only 2 hours, 12 minutes, the fastest of the season for the Reds. There was a 4-minute delay before the fourth inning because of flashing lights triggered by a fire alarm.

Arroyo (9-12), who had been 0-2 over his previous four starts, retired his first 10 batters. He didn’t allow a hit until Carlos Lee led off the fifth with a soft single just over the glove of a leaping Cairo at third base.

Arroyo walked none and struck out two. He needed just 91 pitches in his fourth career shutout and first since beating Washington on Aug. 13, 2009.

Houston didn’t get runner to third until the eighth and Arroyo responded by striking out pinch-hitter Brian Bogusevic and Jordan Shafer.

The Houston hitters were swinging early in the count.

“They helped Bronson some with first-ball hitting,” Baker said.

Arroyo is 8-0 with three complete games in his last nine starts against Houston.

“Today was frustrating and disappointing,” Astros manager Brad Mills said. “We had some opportunities to score and as the game went on our at bats got better.”

The Reds took a 1-0 lead against Wandy Rodriguez (11-11) in the first when Brandon Phillips led off with an leadoff infield single, stole second and scored on Chris Heisey’s two-out bloop single.

“Wandy pitched well enough to win,” Mills said.

Cairo hit a 410-foot drive into the upper deck in left in the second. It was his career-high eighth homer of the season.

Rodriguez allowed four hits with two walks and four strikeouts in seven innings. He recorded his 1,000th career strikeout by fanning Joey Votto leading off the sixth.

NOTES: The Astros finished their road schedule with a 25-56 record. … Houston RHP Bud Norris’ right shoulder still was sore Wednesday morning after he left his start on Tuesday in the fourth inning. His availability for his next start probably won’t be decided until the team returns to Houston and he can be examined by team doctors, Mills said. … Reds C Ryan Hanigan and 3B Scott Rolen won’t play the rest of the season, Baker said. Back spasms have kept Hanigan sidelined since Sept. 15. Rolen hasn’t been able to completely get over arthroscopic surgery performed on Aug. 3 on his left shoulder. … Reds CF Drew Stubbs was scratched from the original starting lineup. Stubbs was hitless in his last 13 at-bats with eight strikeouts to reach 200 for the season. … Houston opens its final homestand of the season Thursday against Colorado. RHP Henry Sosa will face the Rockies for the first time in his career. … The Reds start their final road trip of the season Friday in Pittsburgh with RHP Edinson Volquez seeking his first win in four starts since June 29. He spent most of the second half of the season at Triple-A Louisville.