The Arizona Diamondbacks ' current skid may be a little more troubling for their postseason hopes.
Cincinnati sends Bronson Arroyo to the mound when it visits Arizona for the opener of a three-game series Monday night.
By the time the Reds complete the upcoming series, they'll have played 17 games in 16 days - a stretch during which they're currently 8-6 following Sunday's 8-2 loss to St. Louis.
Cincinnati (77-52), though, has a six-game lead over the Cardinals in the Central despite losing three of its last four."This is a tough stretch for us. We knew it'd be tough," Baker said."We've got to push and push the next three days. These are the dog days. We've got to finish strong in August."
The Reds hope to get another solid outing out of Arroyo, who has won three consecutive starts.
Arroyo (10-7, 3.87 ERA) improved to 6-1 with a 3.50 ERA in his last seven outings after giving up two runs and three hits in eight innings of Wednesday's 3-2 win over Philadelphia."I had good stuff," Arroyo said. "I was hitting my spots on both sides of the plate. It's one of the best games I've thrown."
His current hot stretch began after he gave up five runs and eight hits in a season-low three innings of a 5-3 loss to Arizona on July 16 as the teams split a four-game series. Miguel Montero homered off him in that contest and is 8 for 15 with three home runs lifetime against the right-hander.
Arroyo had gone 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA in his previous four starts versus the Diamondbacks, who are in danger of falling farther back in the postseason race unless they can turn things around quickly.
Arizona (64-64) has lost three straight and five of seven after being swept at home by San Diego, falling 5-4 in Sunday's finale. The Diamondbacks, who also have dropped 10 of 14 at home and are chasing San Francisco in the NL West, are 6 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second wild-card spot."When you get into streaks like this, sometimes it doesn't seem fair," manager Kirk Gibson said. "There (is) no rhyme or reason, but it is the way it worked out for us."
One reason that mark isn't even worse is because of a solid performance from Tyler Skaggs , who will take the hill Monday.
Skaggs (1-0, 2.70) had an impressive major league debut Wednesday, allowing two runs and three hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-2 win over Miami.
Gibson said the left-hander will see plenty more action this season to help prepare him for the future.
"We're going to keep Tyler in the rotation, just give him an exposure to the situation we are in, in a pennant race, that'll do him well for next year as well," Gibson told the team's official website.
The Reds announced Sunday that star first baseman Joey Votto , who hasn't played since July 15 after injuring his left knee, will begin a rehab assignment with Single-A Dayton on Tuesday.
|August 01, 2012||Devin Mesoraco||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|August 01, 2012||Wilson Valdez||Day-to-Day||Left game - stiff neck|
|August 01, 2012||Devin Mesoraco||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|July 31, 2012||Brandon Phillips||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained left calf|
|July 31, 2012||Bill Bray||15-Day DL||Lumbar muscle strain|
|July 16, 2012||Joey Votto||Day-to-Day||Torn meniscus, left knee - out 3-4 weeks|
|August 21, 2012||Justin Upton||Day-to-Day||Left game - Tight hamstring|
|August 17, 2012||Jason Kubel||Day-to-Day||Neck stiffness|
|August 14, 2012||Takashi Saito||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|August 09, 2012||Willie Bloomquist||15-Day DL||Lower back stiffness|
|August 09, 2012||Josh Collmenter||15-Day DL||Ulcers|
|August 06, 2012||Henry Blanco||15-Day DL||Sprained left thumb|
PHOENIX (AP) -- A little heat and humidity shortened Bronson Arroyo 's evening Monday but didn't lessen his impact.
Arroyo pitched six strong innings and homered in the sixth inning for the go-ahead run of the Cincinnati Reds ' 3-2 victory over the fading Arizona Diamondbacks .
"Things are kind of working out a little bit," Arroyo said. "I'm feeling good, but I've been feeling good all year. Sometimes you have to get things going and they've been going to last six weeks."
Arroyo (11-7) allowed two runs and five hits for his fourth straight win. He took himself out after the sixth, having pitched out of trouble in the fourth and run the bases in the top of the inning.
"There was a kind of a weird vibe all day," Arroyo said. "It was a little humid and I just felt like I was gassed. It was a good time to turn it over. With the bullpen we have it's nice to know you can go out and maybe give up a little sooner than you would otherwise and still win."
Sean Marshall came on in the seventh, Jonathan Broxton pitched the eighth and Aroldis Chapman retired the side in the ninth for his 32nd save.
"We take the blessings that we have been given," Reds manager Dusty Baker said with a smile.
Brandon Phillips added an RBI double for the Reds, who remained six games ahead of St. Louis in the NL Central and gave Baker his 400th win with the club.
Justin Upton drove in both runs for the Diamondbacks, who have lost four straight and six of eight during their 10-game homestand.
Arizona slipped below the .500 mark for the first time since August 15 and trails San Francisco by 7 1-2 games in the NL West with 33 to play.
With two outs in the sixth, Arroyo lofted a pitch from Tyler Skaggs toward the left-field bleachers where it struck a railing and ricocheted to the left and back onto the field.
Umpires, apparently believing the ball had hit the top of the fence initially called the ball in play and Arroyo stopped at second, but after a video review he was awarded his sixth career home run.
"We knew the ball ricocheted too hard to hit off the wall," Baker said. "Thank God for instant replay."
Skaggs (1-1), making his second career start, gave up three runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out five, walked two and hit a pair of batters.
"It felt good but I need to cut down on the walks, the walks and the hit batters," Skaggs said. "I think it would help my outing a little bit."
Upton gave the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead in the second with a solo home run to left. The Reds tied the game in the top of the third when Wilson Valdez singled and scored on Phillips' double to center.
Cincinnati added an unearned run in the fourth when first baseman Paul Goldschmidt couldn't handle a throw from Skaggs, allowing Scott Rolen to score from third. Upton knotted the score in the bottom of the inning, singling home Aaron Hill with one out.
"With him (Arroyo), you just kind of have to get a pitch to hit and make sure he's on the plate," Upton said. "He works the corners a lot."
NOTES: Chapman has converted a franchise record 24 straight save chances. . Baker is the seventh manager in Reds' history to collect at least 400 wins. . Arroyo's last home run was June 17, 2010 against the Los Angeles Dodgers . ... Reds 1B Joey Votto , out with a left knee injury since July 17, did not work out with Class A Dayton because of inclement weather. He's expected to begin his rehabilitation assignment on Tuesday, weather permitting. ... RHP Johnny Cueto (16-6) will take the mound on Tuesday night for the Reds against Arizona rookie LHP Wade Miley (14-8). Cueto is tied with Washington's Gio Gonzalez and the New York Mets ' R.A. Dickey for the NL lead in wins and leads the NL with a 2.47 ERA. With the trade of Joe Saunders to Baltimore, the 25-year-old Miley is the second-oldest pitcher in the Diamondbacks' starting rotation.