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Arroyo helps Reds keep fading hopes alive

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Bronson Arroyo learned how to pitch under
pressure while he was with the Boston Red Sox.

He's putting those lessons to use with the Cincinnati Reds.

Arroyo, acquired by Cincinnati during spring training after
three straight seasons of reaching the playoffs in Boston, pitched
eight solid innings for his third straight win and Brandon Phillips
drove in the go-ahead run to help the Reds beat the Pittsburgh
Pirates 4-2 on Sunday afternoon.

Arroyo has won all three of his September starts for a Reds team
trying to stay alive in the race for a post-season berth. They took
advantage of Houston's 4-0 loss at Milwaukee to leapfrog over the
Astros into fifth place in the National League wild-card race, 3½
games behind front-running San Diego, and into second place in the
Central Division behind St. Louis.

"It's not just getting into the playoffs," Arroyo said, who
recorded his first career shutout with a 3-0 win over San Francisco
while pitching on three days rest in his previous start on Tuesday.
"It was facing the (New York) Yankees 19 times in a playoff
atmosphere and the pressure of the media. You get accustomed to the
pressure of pitching in big games."

"He's definitely been through it before," Reds manager Jerry
Narron said.

Arroyo didn't allow a hit to the team with which he broke into
the majors until Ryan Doumit's line drive single to right leading
off the fifth. Doumit was erased on a double play. The only other
baserunner the right-hander allowed through the first five innings
was Freddy Sanchez, who was hit by a pitch with two outs in the
first inning.

Arroyo (13-9) allowed four hits and two runs with no walks and
seven strikeouts. He faced the minimum three batters in six of his
eight innings.

"As ballplayers, we enjoy being in situations where you have to
win," Arroyo said. "You have to bring your 'A' game every
night."

"Bronson mixed up his pitches well," Pittsburgh manager Jim
Tracy said. "We had one opportunity, and we took advantage of
it."

Scott Schoeneweis pitched the ninth for his second save in two
opportunities.

The Reds were trailing 2-0 in the sixth inning when Edwin
Encarnacion and Adam Dunn followed Rich Aurilia's leadoff walk with
back-to-back singles off rookie left-hander Shane Youman, who was
making his major league debut. Encarnacion scored and Dunn went to
second on David Ross' sacrifice fly, and Phillips greeted reliever
Josh Sharpless with a go-ahead single to right.

Dunn moving up on Ross' deep sacrifice fly to left field was a
key play, Narron said.

"That's one of those things that can be overlooked," he said.
"That's one of those little things you start talking about the
first day of spring training. It was an outstanding play. That's
how you're supposed to play the game."

Youman (0-1) allowed just two hits and three walks in his first
five innings. He left after giving up three runs and five hits with
four walks and one strikeout in 5 1/3 innings.

"I wasn't expecting to start off as well as I did," Youman
said. "For the first three innings, I had the jitterbugs. I
started to settle down, but then the jitterbugs came back in the
sixth. They kept me on a high the whole time."

National League batting leader Sanchez broke up the scoreless
tie and Arroyo's bid for a second straight shutout in the sixth.
Sanchez, who went into the game leading the league with a .340
batting average, followed two-out singles by Chris Duffy and Jack
Wilson and a wild pitch with a sharp one-hopper up the middle that
glanced off the glove of Phillips at second base and into center to
give the Pirates a 2-0 lead.

Sanchez was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.
His average remained at .340 after going 1-for-3.

The Reds added an insurance run in the seventh on Royce
Clayton's double and Aurilia's RBI single.

Game notes
Youman on Sunday became the ninth pitcher to start for the
Pirates this season, equaling the number that started at least once
for Pittsburgh last season. ... C Carlos Maldonado's start for
Pittsburgh was his first in the majors. ... Phillips stole second
in the seventh for his 24th stolen base of the season, the most by
any NL second baseman.