Reds 2, Diamondbacks 1

Patrick Corbin could hardly have made a better final case for
himself in his bid to make the Arizona rotation.

The left-hander blanked Cincinnati on two hits through six
innings in the Diamondbacks’ 2-1 loss to the Reds on Friday
night.

Corbin, competing with Randall Delgado to be Arizona’s No. 5
starter, struck out seven and walked two.

”He threw the ball really good,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson
said. ”He was very comfortable on the mound in the whole
environment. He was hitting both sides of the plate. His slider was
very good tonight, very sharp, and his change-ups, the few that he
threw, also were very effective.”

Bronson Arroyo, whose previous outing ended when he was struck
in his pitching hand by a line drive, gave up a run on Jason
Kubel’s homer, scattering seven hits with one strikeout in six
innings.

Ryan Ludwick got both hits off Corbin, a first-inning single and
a fourth-inning double.

Kubel, batting .150 for the spring going into the game, hit his
second home run of the preseason.

Corbin finished the spring 3-0 with a 2.81 ERA. Delgado, who
came from Atlanta as part of the Justin Upton trade, pitches
Saturday. Gibson said he wanted to wait until after that to make
his decisions on his rotation. Wade Miley, penciled as the No. 4
starter but bothered by a tired arm earlier this spring, will start
on Saturday, with Delgado coming on afterward.

”We’re going to see the process through,” Gibson said. ”We’ve
got guys that are going to throw tomorrow. `’

Corbin said he pushed any nerves about making the big league
team out of the way.

”I honestly didn’t really think of it too much,” he said.
”Whatever their decision is, I feel like I’ll be up here at some
point during the year. I was just able to go out there, be myself,
compete and just work on some stuff to get ready for the regular
season.”

Arroyo left Sunday’s start against Texas after 5 1-3 innings
when he was hit in his right hand by a line drive off the bat of
David Murphy. But X-rays were negative and he said he needed to get
some work in a final start of the spring. He is set to go for the
Reds on Wednesday in the finale of their season-opening series
against the Los Angeles Angels.

On Friday night, the right-hander blanked the Diamondbacks on
three hits through four innings, then gave up the home run to Kubel
leading off the fifth.

”I was just trying to throw strikes and not get hit while
getting my pitch count up,” he said. ”My hand is fine. It is sore
to the touch, but I don’t feel it at all doing anything on the
field.”

Arroyo called it ”a great spring for me.”

”It doesn’t mean anything, but it’s as comfortable as I’ve ever
felt on the field,” he said. ”I might give up 16 runs in my first
start. But I feel comfortable right now.”

Reds manager Dusty Baker said Arroyo ”was great other than the
home run to Kubel.”

”He had more zip on his fastball. He had great location,”
Baker said. ”He’s thrown the ball well all spring. I’ve never seen
him so sharp this soon.”

The only run Arizona managed off him came when Kubel lofted a
2-2 pitch just over the fence in right.

The Reds reserves, mostly minor leaguers after wholesale
personnel changes in the seventh, scored a run in the seventh off
reliever Brad Ziegler to tie it and another off left-hander Joe
Paterson in the ninth.

Felix Perez scored both runs for Cincinnati. He led off the
eighth with a triple and scored on a groundout to put the Reds up
2-1.

NOTES: Reds 2B Brandon Phillips was a late scratch from the
lineup due to illness. … Arizona OF Cody Ross, who Gibson
confirmed will start the year on the DL with a calf strain, says he
hopes to return the second week of the season. … The Reds have a
split-squad game Saturday, against Arizona at Chase Field and
against Cleveland at the Reds/Indians spring training park in
Goodyear. … Both teams open their seasons at home on Monday, the
Reds against the Los Angeles Angels, the Diamondbacks against St.
Louis.