Arroyo's gem sends Reds past Brewers
Bronson Arroyo not only pitched a good game but talked one, too.
Arroyo gave his second straight scoreless performance, using his array of pitches and his power of persuasion for seven innings, and the Cincinnati Reds took advantage of Edwin Encarnacion's four hits to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-0 on Friday night.
Arroyo (10-8) was coming off his best showing of the season, a four-hitter for a 3-0 win over the Mets on Saturday. The right-hander kept his scoreless streak going by giving up only five hits. He was also a good lobbyist, talking manager Dusty Baker into letting him stay in the game with the bases loaded in the seventh.
"He just came out and asked me how I felt," Arroyo said. "I told him I felt strong. I wasn't laboring. It could've worked out bad, but it worked out good."
Their on-the-mound chat came after Mike Cameron walked to load the bases with one out in the seventh. When Baker goes to the mound, it's usually to make a pitching change. Reliever Nick Masset left the bullpen, figuring he'd be summoned.
Not this time.
"When I left the dugout, I wanted to see and get a feel for it when I got out there," Baker said. "That might've been the ballgame. The bullpen thought I was signaling, but I was talking to Bronson. I was talking with my hands."
Baker asked a few questions, Arroyo answered and the manager nodded his head and headed back to the dugout, drawing a cheer from the crowd of 25,687. Arroyo immediately made his manager look good, with the help of a disputed interference call.
All-Star Ryan Braun hit Arroyo's first pitch on the ground to Encarnacion at third. He threw to Brandon Phillips at second for the forceout. Cameron slid hard directly over the base, his momentum shoving Phillips toward the outfield before he could try to make the relay.
Umpire Kevin Cause called interference for the final out, ruling that Cameron didn't make contact with Phillips until he was past the base - the rulebook definition of interference. Manager Ken Macha argued for several minutes.
"At that particular stage in the game, that was our opportunity," Macha said. "We had Prince (Fielder) coming up next. I believe they had absolutely no chance to get the double play there. It was a tough call."
Cameron sat at a folding table in the middle of the clubhouse after the game, watching the play on a laptop. After a few slow-motion replays, he got up and headed to his locker, muttering, "That's terrible. Terrible call."
"It's a bonehead mistake by the umpire," Cameron told reporters. "And he gave a bonehead (explanation). This ain't high school baseball."
The play ended the Brewers' last chance.
Encarnacion tied his career high with four hits, including a solo homer that left him 7 for 7 in the first two games of the series. Since returning from a broken wrist, the third baseman is batting .385 with three homers in 12 games.
The Reds took control with three unearned runs off Jeff Suppan (5-7), who hasn't won in more than month.
Cameron let Encarnacion's single to center skip through his legs in the fourth inning, allowing Laynce Nix to score from first base. Shortstop J.J. Hardy bounced his throw to first base on Willy Taveras' routine grounder in the fifth, an error that started a two-run rally. Nix and Encarnacion singled home two-out runs.
The errors undercut Suppan, who is 0-3 with three no-decisions since his last victory on June 12.
The four-game series matches two NL Central teams stuck in distinct downturns. The Brewers have lost nine of 12, dropping them into second place behind St. Louis. The Reds have lost six of nine, dropping them into fifth place.
Brewers RH Dave Bush got MRIs on his right shoulder and arm in Milwaukee. Results could be available Saturday. Bush struggled in his latest minor-league rehab appearance. He's been on the DL with an injured triceps. ... Before his shutout in New York, Arroyo had lost three straight starts, giving up 21 runs in 14 innings. ... Reds SS Alex Gonzalez, who had his throwing elbow cleaned out on June 22, made throws across the infield during pregame practice. He could return before the end of the month. ... The Reds optioned RH reliever Josh Roenicke to Triple-A and called up INF Drew Sutton.