Bronson Arroyo gave up three earned runs and four hits over 4 2/3 innings in the Reds’ 3-1 loss to the Rays on Saturday. Arroyo also walked one and struck out four.
The day started out ominously with Arroyo hitting leadoff batter Jason Bartlett with a pitch and a single. A line drive to second base by Evan Longoria created a double play but Arroyo gave up back-to-back RBI doubles by Carlos Pena and Pat Burrell.
After that, Arroyo retired nine in a row and 10 of his last 12 batters. Willy Aybar hit a two-out solo homer in the fourth. Overall, Arroyo threw 77 pitches including 49 strikes. He has a 5.40 ERA in three spring starts.
“Even though we’re midway through spring, you realize what one long inning early on can do to you,” Arroyo said. “It takes your energy level down a lot. I’m glad to have gotten some good work today. Hopefully my next two starts will give me a little bit of that game feel and tougher lineups and start getting where you want to be so you’re built up to the sixth and seventh inning and not feeling taxed for the first couple of starts of the year.”
On the main web site today will be a longer feature on Arroyo. If he has a good start to this year like the way he finished last year, the Reds’ rotation could be pretty tough to reckon with.
Arroyo is one person who prefers the longer camp, and it could help him get that strong start to the regular season.
“The last, probably, two starts are when you’re going to really feel it, because you’ll be used to breaking camp around that time,” Arroyo said. “The last two starts are where you can get out there, hopefully touch 100 pitches or more, and feel like you’re pitching in a real game. That’s versus going into the first two starts of the year and almost feeling like you can’t go really deep in the game because you’re not quite built up enough unless everything goes your way.”
Arroyo was 15-11 with a 4.77 ERA last season but started out 4-7 with a 6.52 ERA.