Brewers slow Cincinnati Reds’ momentum

Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton makes a catch against the Brewers on Thursday, April 13, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
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Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton makes a catch against the Brewers on Thursday, April 13, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

Arroyo struggles in second start

Bronson Arroyo sounded Thursday as if he knows his time with the Cincinnati Reds is limited — at least if he keeps performing as he has in his first two starts of 2017.

“At this level, you’re getting paid to produce,” Arroyo said. “It’s got to get a little better a little quicker.”

Arroyo allowed five runs on seven hits in six innings in a 5-1 loss to the Brewers at Great American Ball Park. The Reds’ four-game winning streak ended. They fell to 7-3 and will need to win the last three games of this series to win their first four series of the season for the first time since 1987.

Arroyo has been the losing pitcher in two of the Reds’ three losses. His ERA stands at 9.90. That’s better than it was at the start of the day. It stood at 13.50 after he allowed six earned runs in four innings in a 10-4 loss Saturday to the Cardinals in St. Louis. He knows he doesn’t have much time to turn it around. He said he may be at a dead-end street if he doesn’t pitch better soon.

“If I go out there honestly the next two times,” Arroyo said, ” and still feel like things are not quite crisp and I’m giving up too many hard hit balls and too many runs and not being able to shut down those big innings, that’s a problem. When nobody’s on base, you feel you can do your thing, and sometimes you get those quick innings. But when you get two guys on and you’ve only got one out and you need to punch one guy out to get out of the inning and you can’t do it, you’ve got some troubles on your hands.”

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Reds manager Bryan Price plans to give Arroyo more chances because he knows he’s still finding himself after pitching so little the last two-plus seasons because of injuries.

“He’s coming off two and a half years of baseball inactivity for the most part, as far as competition,” Price said. “I think he deserves to have some starts under his belt so we can really evaluate what he has left.”

The Brewers scored four runs against Arroyo in the third. Ryan Braun capped the rally with a two-out, two-run home run. Two innings later, Eric Thames hit a solo home run to give the Brewers a 5-1 lead.

Billy Hamilton got the Reds on the board in the first. He led off the game with a single, stole second, moved to third on a sacrifice fly by Jose Peraza and scored on a sacrifice fly by Joey Votto.

The offense, which scored 18 runs in a three-game sweep of the Pirates earlier in the week in Pittsburgh, struggled the rest of the game. Zack Cozart went 3-for-3, raising his average .481. The rest of the team had two hits.


FRIDAY’S GAME

Brewers at Reds, 7:10 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410