Arroyo has good start despite loss

Published 2:11 am Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Associated Press


GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Right-hander Bronson Arroyo got off to a much better start this spring.

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Arroyo pitched three innings in his spring debut and gave up a homer by Jeremy Hermida that helped split-squad San Diego beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 on Wednesday.

Hermida hit a solo shot in the first off Arroyo, who allowed a club-record 46 homers last season. The right-hander contracted mononucleosis during spring training last year and it lingered into the season, leading to a 9-14 record.

Arroyo pitched 199 innings last year in spite of the lingering effects of the illness. It was the first time in seven seasons that he pitched fewer than 200 innings.

He was scheduled to go two innings on Wednesday, but threw so few pitches that he was allowed to three. He gave up one run on two hits and a walk.

“I feel good,” said Arroyo, who spent the offseason getting fully recovered from the mononucleosis. “My body feels more lively and less achy than my first time out in years past. I felt the ball was coming out of my hand better than it has in a couple years.”

Nick Hundley added a two-run home run off Ron Mahay.

Left-hander Cory Luebke, who earned a role in the Padres’ rotation after beginning last season in the bullpen, struck out four and picked off two during his two scoreless innings. Cincinnati managed three hits overall off seven Padres pitchers. Jay Bruce and Scott Rolen had doubles.

Zack Cozart walked in the first inning but was picked off by Luebke. Bruce doubled in the second inning but was also picked off.

“I felt all right,” said Luebke, who is trying to earn a spot in the rotation out of spring training. “It was good to get back out there. You think you wouldn’t get jitters every year when this happens, but it’s good to get back out there to know you didn’t forget how to throw in the offseason.”

The Padres’ lineup featured three former Reds — Hermida, Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandall. Alonso was the Reds’ first draft pick in the June 2008 draft. Grandall, who was the designated hitter, was the Reds’ first pick in 2010.

Both were traded to San Diego with Edinson Volquez and minor league pitcher Brad Boxberger for starter Mat Latos in the offseason.

Alonso doubled in three at-bats. Grandall had a single in four at-bats.

“Alonso’s swinging it,” pitching coach Darren Balsley said. “He looks like a guy that can put the ball in play and hit to all fields. That’s what we need.”

San Diego pitchers struck out 13 batters.

“We stressed keeping fastballs down in the zone,” Balsley said. “Luebke pitched down in the zone when he had to today. Our guys made a lot of good pitches.”

Notes: Reds INF Juan Francisco has been limited by a strained calf. He played in the field for the first time, getting a hit as the third baseman. … Reds closer Ryan Madson, who was signed as a free agent, threw on the side Wednesday. He’s been held out of games because of tenderness in his elbow. … Reds LHP Bill Bray, hampered by a strained groin, pitched a simulated game. … Andrew Cashner, acquired from the Chicago Cubs over the winter, pitched a scoreless inning for San Diego.