Quiet bats, again

Here’s the wrapup from Saturday, which included a 4-0 Reds loss to the White Sox:

*It was another lean day for the hitters, as the Reds notched only four hits. With a 2-8 record, Cincinnati has been shutout twice this spring and have been held to three runs or less the last three games.

“When you’re not hitting, you’re going to have trouble scoring runs,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We’ll get it straight. It’s nice to see Jay get on the board. It’s tough sitting on your hands over there when you can’t do a whole bunch. Everybody is getting to play. Everybody is getting opportunities. We’re not quite keeping them in zone. We’re swinging at a lot of breaking balls in the dirt. This is the time of the year, you’re not really ready to hit breaking balls. And they’re fouling off the fastballs.”

*Joey Votto lined a two-out double to right field for the first hit in the fourth inning.

*Jay Bruce was the DH and went 1-for-4. Bruce’s first hit of spring finally came on a single to center field in the top of the ninth.

*The line on Bronson Arroyo’s first start: 2 ip, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K — Only one hit was solid — a drive to the LF warning  track off of Ryan Ludwick’s glove. Both first inning singles were on the ground with two outs (one an infield hit). In the second, an RBI double was blooped in front of a diving Chris Heisey in center field. An RBI single was blooped with two outs into left field.

“It happens a lot in spring where guys are in a different mindframe,” Arroyo said. “You get two strikes on a guy and it’s hard to put them away in Spring Training. There’s not as much setup to the game. It’s more freewheeling. A couple of times I had 0-2 counts, I was just trying to throw a pitch that maybe you wouldn’t necessarily throw in a 0-2 count. I was just seeing if I could freeze a guy or something or get some action and those were the balls they were hitting and jamming off of their hands. It’s the way it goes.

“I felt decent, like you always do the first time out. Not great, not terrible. I had command and threw a lot of strikes. I am happy about that. That’s really the most important thing, and feeling stronger as spring goes on. If you have command on day one, it’s going to stay there.”

*Billy Hamilton was 0-for-1 with a walk and a strikeout. He stole second base in the eighth inning. Of his 13 at-bats, Hamilton has struck out seven times while batting .154.

“He has no chance to do anything when he strikes out,” Baker said. “Probably half of those have been looking. Anytime he puts it in play, there’s a chance of something happening.”

*Reds starting pitchers have yet to give up a home run in 17 2/3 innings this spring.

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