Diamondbacks 3, Reds 1

April 21, 2011

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.