Frazier ends slump to help Reds past Padres 7-2
PDT Sports Writer
CINCINNATI —When the Hit King wants to speak, it’s wise to listen.
Just ask Todd Frazier.
A few days after speaking with Major League Baseball’s all-time leader in hits Pete Rose, the Cincinnati third baseman ended an 0-for-31 drought Friday with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate that included a double and three runs scored as the Reds claimed a 7-2 win over San Diego. The night started with a crowd of 30,288 honoring the state champion Wheelersburg team before the game and they were treated to fireworks set to music selected by Frazier.
“That was the first time I’ve ever talked with (Rose),” Frazier said. “It was a pretty big eye-opener for me and I’m glad that he did.
“He opened my eyes up a little bit and enough is enough basically. I’m just happy to produce and help the team out.”
Frazier took no time in ending the slump as he doubled in the first and scored on a Joey Votto RBI single. Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker felt putting Frazier in the No. 2 hole in the lineup was crucial to his confidence.
“We need him big time,” Baker said.
As for what Rose and Frazier discussed about, the second-year pro kept the details to himself. However, he did say that watching the Little League World Series Regionals did put him in a better mood.
Not only was it a shot in the arm for the Reds offense, it was also a good omen. This year, Cincinnati is 48-18 when drawing first blood.
Frazier started the third with a walk and scored on a Votto triple to double the lead. Jay Bruce doubled later in the inning of Padres starter Andrew Cashner to make it a 3-0 affair.
It was more than enough for Bronson Arroyo, who went seven innings and and allowed one earned run on four hits while recording seven strikeouts. Arroyo didn’t allow his first base runner until the fourth when Chase Headley’s two-out single screamed beyond the reach of a diving Brandon Phillips.
“When it’s humid, the ball’s going to move a little bit more, there’s a little bit more density in the air,” Arroyo said. “There’s more friction to make that breaking ball move. Actually it was a perfect night for me, it wasn’t so hot that you’re dying out there on the mound.”
After last Friday’s outing in which he allowed seven runs in three-and-two thirds innings against the Cardinals, Arroyo felt great to get back on the hill. The goal, especially at this point in his career, is to make sure one bad outing doesn’t turn into two or three-straight.
“You just don’t have a choice but to go out there and prepare yourself,” Arroyo said. “Some times you try to dissect your preparation to see if something’s missing there.”
Despite allowing a home run to Logan Forsythe in the fifth, Arroyo gained two more tallies in the bottom half of the frame thanks to an RBI single and a run scored each by Chris Heisey. Cashner would not emerge from the dugout once the inning concluded.
Phillips’ two-run home run in the sixth and a solo blast in the top of the eighth by Will Venable off Reds reliever Alfredo Simon concluded the night’s scoring.
Not only was this a night for Fraizer to end a dry spell at the plate, Arroyo’s bloop single in the second erased an 0-for-20 skid that dated back to June 3. The contest also signaled the returns of reliever Jonathan Broxton and catcher Ryan Hanigan from stints on the disabled list.
Although Broxton was reinstated Wednesday, his one-inning performance to close the contest came at the right time according to Baker.
“It was nice to see him throw 97, 98 again,” Baker said. “He hadn’t done that in a long time.”
Hanigan had been on the disabled list since July 11. To make room, catcher Corky Miller was placed on the 15-day disabled list after a collision during Wednesday’s 6-5 win over Oakland forced him to leave the contest.
Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.
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