Diamondbacks 3, Reds 1

The comeback grounder hit Ian Kennedy flush by his right ankle,

sending a jolt of pain through his leg and knocking him flat on his

back.

He got to his feet and got a win.

Kennedy overcame the nasty spill and pitched into the sixth

inning before the ankle stiffened on Wednesday night, leading the

Arizona Diamondbacks to a 3-1 victory that dropped the slumping

Cincinnati Reds to .500 for the first time since May 8.

”It hurt really bad,” said Kennedy, who got smacked in the

fifth inning. ”I couldn’t put much weight on the foot at all. Then

I had the adrenalin kick in after that.”

Kennedy (2-1) was the key to the Diamondbacks’ third straight

win. He also had a run-scoring groundout off Bronson Arroyo (2-2),

who got little help from a struggling offense.

The Reds have lost six of seven, falling to 9-9. The last time

they had a break-even mark was 30 games into last season.

”As long as we don’t panic and continue to work hard, it’ll be

great,” manager Dusty Baker said. ”I’m as positive as I’ve ever

been. I’m not happy, but I’m positive.”

For the third game in a row, the Reds had trouble putting hits

together. They’ve managed only 13 hits in the last three. J.J. Putz

got his fifth save in five chances, needing only seven pitches in a

perfect ninth.

Justin Upton had a sacrifice fly, and Ryan Roberts added an RBI

double off Arroyo, who retired 15 batters in a row after another

slow start.

Willie Bloomquist and Kelly Johnson opened the game with

doubles, and Upton’s sacrifice fly made it 1-0. The Reds have been

outscored 22-12 in the first inning this season, by far their

worst.

Stephen Drew doubled and scored on Kennedy’s groundout in the

second, starting a streak of 15 straight batters retired by Arroyo

– an indication he’s getting back to normal after coming down with

mononucleosis during spring training. Roberts doubled home a run in

the seventh.

”Arroyo did a good job,” Arizona catcher Miguel Montero said.

”Fortunately we got a couple of hits in good situations. And Ian

was on.”

Kennedy handled the Reds in Arizona on April 8, allowing one run

and six hits over eight innings in a 12-2 victory. He was tough on

them again Wednesday, giving up four hits, including Joey Votto’s

run-scoring double in the sixth.

Kennedy overcame a nasty tumble in the fifth, when one of his

pitches came right back at him.

Jay Bruce’s grounder smacked off the outside of Kennedy’s lower

right leg during his follow-through. The shot knocked the leg out

from under him, leaving him sprawled on his back. The ball

deflected into foul territory for a single.

A trainer checked the leg, and Kennedy threw several practice

pitches. He struck out the next batter, Jeremy Hermida. When he

went to the bench, the ankle started swelling.

”The ankle was getting a little stiff,” Kennedy said. ”My

command was not as sharp as it had been earlier in the game.”

Manager Kirk Gibson came out to talk to Kennedy after he gave up

Votto’s RBI double in the sixth, then decided to make a pitching

change.

”I could tell he was losing it a little bit,” Gibson said.

”He was fighting through it. He got drilled.”

Kennedy was coming off one of the worst starts of his career. He

gave up a career-high nine runs in only three innings of a 15-5

loss to St. Louis on April 13.

NOTES: Arizona 3B Melvin Mora missed his second straight game

with a sore left foot. … Reds RHP Homer Bailey will have his next

rehab start pushed back a couple of days because of stiffness.

Bailey, on the DL with an inflamed pitching shoulder, threw five

scoreless innings for Triple-A Louisville on Sunday. He was

expected to start again on Friday, but will get a few extra days to

recover. … Reds RHP Johnny Cueto, also on the DL with shoulder

problems, will make his second rehab start for Louisville on

Thursday.