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Bruce homers to lift Arroyo and Reds over Rockies

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It's time for veteran pitchers to move toward regular-season form, and that happened for the Rockies and the Reds on Monday night in a game the Reds took, 4-3, at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, finally clear of pain and fear that resulted from 2011 elbow surgery, had his second-straight strong game -- one run and two hits in five innings. Reds righty Bronson Arroyo held the Rockies to one run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings and had an RBI double.

De La Rosa threw four scoreless innings against the Cubs in his last game, but gave up four hits and two walks. This time, his changeup and slider were forcing Reds hitters into fly balls.

"The location was much better," said De La Rosa, who faced a mostly regular lineup.

De La Rosa, who had several setbacks while coming back last season and made just three starts (0-2, 9.28 ERA), had what looked like a scary moment that turned into a good laugh. Before the second inning, De La Rosa was looking into the dugout so intently that manager Walt Weiss and head athletic trainer Keith Dugger came to the mound. It turned out not to be an injury.

"I was looking for Wilin [Rosario, the catcher], and they thought I was looking for them," De La Rosa said. "He took too much time [to put on his gear]."

Arroyo finished with 13 outs on 11 ground balls, with two double-play grounders.

"I felt good tonight -- it was a night game, it felt like a regular game today. I knew I was going to get deep in the ballgame and I was going to hit and all that. It was nice. Fowler starts me off with a bomb-bomb and everything else went smooth from there."

Rockies leadoff man Dexter Fowler opened the bottom of the first with his second homer of the spring, a shot to deep center.

The Reds scored twice in the sixth off Rockies lefty Christian Friedrich, who was pitching in a game for the first time since last July 28, before he was shut down with a back injury. Friedrich began this spring with a less-extensive injury. Cesar Izturis, competing for a bench job, opened with a double and scored on Donald Lutz's single. Jay Bruce hit his third home run of the spring, a two-out solo shot well beyond the left-field fence, off Friedrich, who gave up two runs on four hits in two innings.

Reds speedster Billy Hamilton tripled and scored in the eighth.

The Rockies' Jonathan Herrera doubled twice.

Ben Paulsen hit his second homer of the spring -- both against the Reds -- to open the Rockies' ninth against Drew Hayes.

Up next: Through 13 games this spring, Joey Votto is batting .393 (11-for-28) with two home runs and eight RBIs. It's likely that Votto will be back in the lineup Tuesday when the Reds host the White Sox at 4:05 p.m. ET in Goodyear Ballpark. Homer Bailey will start the game for Cincinnati and be followed by Manny Parra, Sean Marshall, Jose Arredondo and Logan Ondrusek.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb.
Read More: Cincinnati Reds, Bronson Arroyo, Jay Bruce