"They were going to have probably a different game plan maybe than anybody else I faced in my whole career," Arroyo said. "They had a lot more insight to me, and I guess part of that plan would have been to try to get to me early knowing I'm a strike-thrower and also knowing that if I got to two strikes, it was going to be a lot more difficult to square me up."
Arroyo (4-4) had a disastrous second inning, giving up three straight singles to Reds batters before surrendering a grand slam to Devin Mesoraco -- the second of the catcher's career.
The Reds continuously got to Arroyo early in the second. The first four hitters -- the ones who did the damage -- didn't see more than three pitches each. Mesoraco's grand slam came on the first pitch he saw -- a 69-mph curveball over the plate.
"I went to the plate and said, 'Roc, you're supposed to take that one, man,'" Arroyo said. "He said, 'I couldn't let that one go by, man.' I know you're going to get ahead of me with that.'
"I think going into the game I was aware that he likes to flip that easy breaking ball in there for a first-pitch strike, especially in situations where he really needs a strike. I wouldn't say I was looking for it but I went up there with an idea that may be coming."
Arroyo settled down after the grand slam, allowing his team to get back into the game. He pitched five more innings and gave up only one more run.
"It helps the bullpen," manager Kirk Gibson said. "We only really lost one guy, so we're in good shape."
While Arroyo got back into a groove, the D-backs mounted an attempt to come back.
They got back within a run in the bottom of the third inning. A.J. Pollock, who is 11-for-20 during the D-backs' last five games, led off the inning with a double, and Gerardo Parra drove him in with a single.
Up next was slugger Paul Goldschmidt, but he didn't drive in a run with one of his typical line drives. Instead, he hit a ground ball to Reds third baseman Todd Frazier, who threw the ball past first baseman Roger Bernadina, allowing Parra to score.
The Reds jumped back out to a two-run lead in the sixth, thanks to that same pairing. Frazier walked and Bernadina doubled, pushing the Reds ahead 5-3.
The D-backs again made it close, scoring a run on an Aaron Hill single, but the climax of the inning came two batters later.
With runners on the corners, Ender Inciarte hit a ball into the right-side hole, where second baseman Brandon Phillips nabbed the ball and tossed it to pitcher Mike Leake (3-4) for the out.
"Their guy came up on me pretty quick," Leake said. "I wasn't expecting it to be that quick. It kind of caught me off guard when we both touched the bag at the same time."
Gibson challenged the close play, and upon review, the call on the field stood, ending the D-backs' last rally of the game.
"I had nothing to lose," Gibson said. "We knew it was close. … You look at one replay, it looks like he's safe and on one maybe he's not. You never know.
"It seems that it has to be pretty conclusive. That's what they told us. And it wasn't conclusive enough in New York, so we didn't get it. It was a helluva play."
Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com.