Losing streak snapped

Notes from a 4-2 Reds win over the Phillies that snapped a five-game losing streak:

*What a duel for Bronson Arroyo and Cliff Lee. Both pitchers exchanged zeroes over the first six innings. Click here for the full game story.

*Not a bad thing when a guy named Robinson (Derrick) scores the go-ahead run on Jackie Robinson Day. Brandon Phillips had the big bases-loaded, two-run single for the win in the eighth.

*Jay Bruce had a terrific 10-pitch plate appearance vs. Lee in the seventh. Not only was he down 0-2, he worked his way back and survived a near strikeout on a 1-2 check swing and fouled off a total of six pitches. There was a wild pitch that scored the game’s first run on a 2-2 pitch. On the 10th pitch, it was low and away and Bruce walked. It snapped a 169-batter streak without a walk for Lee, who gave up his last bases-on-balls on Sept. 17.

“He battled right there,” Lee said. “I made him a lot of really good pitches that he fouled off. He kept fighting and ended up working a walk. It was a good at-bat by him. I was ahead and he battled his way back into the count and drew a walk.”

*Defense was sensational in the earlier innings. In the top of the first inning, Phillips made a slick diving stop to his left on Jimmy Rollins’ sharp grounder and notched the inning’s second out. In the bottom of the second, Phillies center fielder Ben Revere had the play of the night with an over-the-shoulder diving catch at the warning track to rob Todd Frazier. Bruce, running on the play from first base, was easily thrown out for the double play. To start the bottom of the third, Revere made a long run for a nice catch and crash into the fence to take a hit away from Ryan Hanigan. To end the top of the fifth, 3B Todd Frazier backhanded a grounder from Erik Kratz and turned a 5-4-3 double play.

*Arroyo, who was part of the Red Sox from 2003-05 and was a fan favorite in Boston, had some thoughts on the tragedy earlier in the day.

“It’s right downtown where people love to congregate and have a good time,” Arroyo said. “There are a lot of bars in that area. I’m sure it’s going to leave a stain on the Back Bay for a while, which is definitely not pleasant.

“This is going to change the landscape of Marathon Monday in Boston, which is a huge deal which is just sad….A lot of guys on the team would run down there [near the finish] because Curt Schilling’s wife was running in it and Mike Timlin’s wife was in the race. It’s an event in Boston and close to home for everybody. It’s definitely sad.”

*For more on what others around baseball thought about the tragedy in Boston, click here.

*As for me, I try to keep things to only baseball on this blog partly because you don’t need another place to feel the stresses of the non-baseball world. But, I want to offer condolences to all of those directly affected by the bombings at the Boston Marathon. I’m heartbroken for everyone there. I just can’t believe the world sometimes.

Three stars…but only one that matters most tonight:

No. 1 star: Boston’s first responders. I saw some disturbing images today but it was incredibly moving to see police, paramedics and volunteers rushing towards the blast scene mere moments after the explosions. It was the true definition of bravery.

*The Reds issued this statement:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and friends affected by this afternoon’s events in Boston. While we won’t comment specifically on security procedures at Great American Ball Park, we can assure our fans that their safety always has been and always will be the number one priority of our staff and local law enforcement agencies. We encourage all of our employees and fans to continue to focus on their surroundings and to notify our security staff if they feel the need to do so.”

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