Arroyo pitches streaking Reds past Rockies
DENVER (AP) -- Coors Field has given Bronson Arroyo fits in his career, but the right-hander finally got the better of the place for one night.
Arroyo pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Ryan Ludwick scored twice and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Colorado Rockies 3-0 Friday night for their eighth straight victory.
Ludwick, Scott Rolen and Ryan Hanigan had two hits apiece for the Reds, who have won 12 of 14 since the All-Star break and tied Washington for the best record in the National League.
"What it takes to win is pitching. That's what we've been doing," Rolen said. "Pitching and defense. It's hard to lose if you shut somebody out."
Friday, it was Arroyo providing timely pitching in the unlikeliest of places. Coming into the game he was 0-2 with an 8.84 ERA in three career starts at Coors Field. He put that disappointment behind with a strong outing against the Rockies.
"The game plan here is always tough for me because I throw so many breaking balls and it's hard to throw a sharp one in this atmosphere," Arroyo said. "I've had a hard time pitching here and getting off to a good start I knew was going to be a huge key. We got lucky a little bit where things were kind of rolling my way."
Arroyo (6-6) retired his first 11 batters before Carlos Gonzalez singled with two outs in the fourth. He started tiring as the game went into the seventh and let the bench know he was nearly out of gas.
"He said, `Hey, you better keep an eye on me this inning' before he went out," manager Dusty Baker said. "We know he was treading on thin ice when that inning started. They hit a couple of balls on the nose and right at people. That was a pretty good indicator it was time to go get him."
The right-hander left with two on in the seventh, but Alfredo Simon retired pinch-hitter Eric Young Jr. to end the threat.
"I had the shakes a little bit," Arroyo said. "I didn't want them to be surprised because my pitch count was so low and I wanted to let them know I felt like I had thrown 90-something pitches instead of the 70 I had thrown."
Arroyo allowed six hits and struck out three in 6 2-3 innings. It was the first time this season he won back-to-back starts.
"He's had a tough time here, but I'm glad we got him back to 6-6," Baker said.
Aroldis Chapman worked the ninth for his 20th save in 24 chances.
Gonzalez and Jordan Pacheco each had two hits for the Rockies, who have lost seven of nine.
Colorado's decline has resulted in some changes. After the game the team announced it had swapped infielders with San Francisco, sending Marco Scutaro to the Giants for Charlie Culberson.
Scutaro, 36, was acquired in the offseason from Boston.
"I really liked it here. Unfortunately, the season didn't go the way we expected in the beginning," he said. "That's the way baseball is. It's a business and I get to go to a first-place team."
The trade comes a week after the Rockies traded right-hander Jeremy Guthrie to Kansas City for lefty Jonathan Sanchez.
The Reds broke up a scoreless game when they got to Rockies starter Drew Pomeranz in the fourth. Brandon Phillips led off with a single and moved to second on a fly to right. Ludwick followed with a double down the left-field line to score Phillips.
Rolen singled off Pomeranz's right leg to put runners at the corners and Todd Frazier drove home Ludwick with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
The Rockies threatened in the fifth when Pacheco doubled with one out to put runners at second and third, but Arroyo struck out Josh Rutledge and got Pomeranz on a grounder to end the inning.
The Reds did most of their damage with the bottom half of the order.
"You hope it's somebody and you hope it's consecutive guys," Baker said. "That's how you score runs. You get a hit here, a hit there, you never really put on a threat. Everybody's pulling on the same end of the rope, everybody's doing their job and today we had different guys come through."
The Reds added another run in the sixth. Ludwick walked with one out and Rolen singled to end Pomeranz's night. Adam Ottavino came on and threw two wild pitches that allowed Ludwick to score, making it 3-0.
Pomeranz (1-6) gave up three runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. He struck out five and walked one.
NOTES: Rolen played in his 2,000th career game. ... The Reds' eight-game win streak is their longest since May 31-June 8, 2006. ... On their off day Thursday, the Rockies visited victims of the Aurora theater shooting at a local hospital. ... The Rockies activated 1B Todd Helton from the 15-day DL and optioned RHP Edwar Cabrera to Triple-A Colorado Springs. ... The Reds will send RHP Johnny Cueto (12-5) to the mound against Christian Friedrich (5-7) on Saturday.