Arroyo leads Reds to win over Indians

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Bronson Arroyo said he felt just fine — except when he had to face Cleveland’s Shin-Soo Choo.

Arroyo shook off the effects of mononucleosis to pitch into the seventh inning in the Cincinnati Reds’ 8-3 win on Tuesday, limiting the Indians to a pair of solo homers by Choo.

“I felt good,” Arroyo said. “I can’t stop coughing but I feel good. I’m feeling better every day. I didn’t have the best command. They hit the ball hard right at some guys but I got 100 pitches in. That’s what I wanted to do.

“I’ll see how I bounce back tomorrow. It will be a nice little test for me.”

Arroyo allowed six hits, struck out three and walked one in 6 1-3 innings.

Choo’s production off the right-hander is nothing new. The Indians right fielder is a .500 (6 for 12) hitter in his career against Arroyo, including four homers.

“Choo hits everything I throw,” Arroyo said. “I was hoping to face him one more time. I was going to tell him what was coming every pitch and see if he could deal with that.”

Arroyo has been ill for two weeks, but hasn’t missed a start, thanks to the Reds’ only rainout on March 21 when he was supposed to be skipped over.

“Bronson looked pretty good,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “If it wasn’t for Choo, he wouldn’t have given up anything. He had good stuff. He threw quality strikes.

“He wanted to stay out there through the seventh. That’s Bronson, though. He comes to play. He comes to pitch.”

Choo hits other pitchers, too. He has batted at least .300 with 20 or more home runs and stolen bases in each of the past two seasons, but is more interested in team goals than individual statistics.

“Playoffs,” Choo said earlier this spring. “That’s it. Nothing else is important to me.”

Playing for a team that lost 90-plus games in 2009 and 2010 and enters this season with the youngest 40-man roster in the game, that appears to be a lofty goal.

Choo said getting back several key Indians who missed time with injuries a year ago is important.

“The key is having everybody healthy, all 25 guys,” the 28-year-old Choo said. “We need (Travis) Hafner and (Grady) Sizemore back and nobody else to get hurt.”

Hafner has struggled with shoulder problems the past three years, but says he feels strong. Sizemore will open the year on the disabled list. He had microfracture surgery on his left knee in June.

Manager Manny Acta is encouraged by Sizemore’s progress.

“I’m amazed to see how much he has accomplished in a few short weeks,” Acta said. “You get him hitting a couple spots ahead of a guy like Choo and Hafner looks good and you can see why I like our offense.”

Choo hit .322 with three homers and a team-high 18 RBIs this spring.

“He’s a very special hitter,” Acta said. “When I fill out my lineup, I like knowing Choo is there at No. 3 and then we build around him.”

Indians left-hander Rafael Perez was charged with four runs in the eighth inning, getting only one out.

NOTES: The Indians traded INF Jayson Nix to Toronto for cash. Nix lost the training camp battle for a utility spot to veteran Adam Everett. … Reds RHP Jared Burton will be examined Wednesday in Cincinnati. He left a game Monday with shoulder soreness. … Reds 2B Brandon Phillips went 1 for 3 and finished the spring on a 10-game hitting streak, batting .519 (14 of 27) with nine RBIs during the surge. He hit .347 overall. … The Reds open at home Thursday against Milwaukee. … The Indians play their Triple-A team in Columbus on Wednesday and open Friday at home against the Chicago White Sox.