Arroyo's gem underscores dominant Reds effort
Phillips launches two-run homer; Frazier snaps skid with two-hit night
CINCINNATI -- Reds third baseman Todd Frazier was stuck in a hitter's wilderness with a 0-for-31 stretch, and the sherpa that helped lead him out of it could not have been a more experienced guide.
Following Wednesday's game, Reds great and all-time hits leader Pete Rose summoned Frazier to come to the tunnel outside of the clubhouse so they could chat about hitting. Frazier quickly obliged.
"He came and wanted to talk to me. That was the first time I had ever talked to him," Frazier said. "It was an eye-opener for me. I'm glad he did. He opened my eyes up a little bit. Enough was enough, basically."
In a 2-for-4 night with three runs scored, Frazier snapped out of his slump and helped support a strong outing by Bronson Arroyo for a 7-2 win over the Padres at Great American Ball Park.
The Reds took the early lead on Padres starter Andrew Cashner, with Frazier serving as the catalyst. Frazier ripped a double to the left-field corner in the first inning. Teammates asked the umpire to set aside the ball as a souvenir. Frazier joked that he wanted to pick up second base.
"Watching the Little League World Series [qualifiers] today put a little smile on my face," said Frazier, who was a 1998 LLWS champ with his Toms River, N.J., team. "Go back to that swing a little bit. You cared about nothing and swung as hard as you can. Are the pitchers better? Of course. But it's see ball, hit ball basically when you're young."
Joey Votto's rolling RBI single up the middle promptly scored Frazier, giving the Reds the first run in three straight games -- all wins.
Frazier started the third inning with a four-pitch walk, and he scored when Votto hit a triple to the right-field wall. Jay Bruce's RBI double to right field brought Votto home and made it a 3-0 game.
Arroyo completed seven innings, as his only run allowed was Logan Forsythe's solo homer with two outs in the fifth inning. It was one of only four hits against Arroyo, who did not walk a batter and struck out seven while throwing 97 pitches.
"It was an all-around good ballgame," Arroyo said. "We had some clutch hitting with two outs and all the good stuff we need to continue on a good pace."
The Padres started out 11 up and 11 down against Arroyo, who gave up his first hit on Chase Headley's single up the middle in the fourth. Three of the four hits he allowed, including Forsythe's homer, came with two outs.
For Arroyo, the outing was a nice rebound after his worst start of the season last Friday vs. the Cardinals. In that 13-3 loss, he lasted only 3 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs and eight hits.
"That's what veterans do," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "You can't bring the past with you into the present. You have to be able to forget it. A lot of guys can't. It takes a lot of confidence in your ability to know that, 'Hey man, the next game I can throw a shutout.'"
Cincinnati's next four runs all came with two outs over the fifth and sixth innings. A fifth-inning single to right field by Chris Heisey scored Votto, and Heisey scored when Zack Cozart grounded to the shortstop and reached on Forsythe's errant throw into the first-base camera pit.
In the sixth inning, Frazier hit a soft bouncer deep to the hole on the right side and reached with an infield single. Two batters later, Brandon Phillips' two-run homer to left field iced the game.
"I'm glad to be back. I never left, basically," Frazier said. "It's just a matter of finding your way. Hopefully five years from now, I'll look back and can say it was a good experience for me because I'll be an All-Star and world champ and say, 'You know what? Who cares about that?'"
This season, Frazier has struggled to follow up his strong rookie 2012 season. He is batting .236 with 10 home runs and 49 RBIs. Earlier this week, Baker moved him out of the RBI-expected sixth spot to the No. 2 spot.
"I was hoping Todd would get his act together," Baker said. "We need him, big time. I probably won't play him tomorrow, because their guy throws a whole bunch of sliders, which is his nemesis. We'll have him back there the next day."
Rose, who amassed 4,256 career hits during his career, has occasionally offered advice to current players when he is in town to watch games as a ticket holder. No one needed help lately more than Frazier.
"That was pretty cool," Frazier said of the Rose encounter. "Best hitter that ever was. He gave me a lot of key pointers, I guess you can say. It was something between me and him that I will sure never forget.
"He said never to call it a slump. I'm sure going to listen to him."