Bronson Arroyo recorded his 1,000th career strikeout with the Reds in the second inning Saturday at Great American Ball Park. The scoreboard announced his feat, and the crowd recognized his achievement with 10 to 15 seconds of applause.
Arroyo sheepishly tipped his cap but would have rather the milestone had gone unnoticed. He still had to get two more outs in the inning, and there was a Marlins runner on first. He didn’t have time to celebrate.
“Stuff like that going on in the middle of the ballgame, man, I feel it’s a jinx,” Arroyo said. “If I tipped my hat and stood there and really appreciated the applause, I feel I would have given up five runs in the inning. It’s nice, but it’s not that big of a deal to be honest. I just go out there and pitch every day and try to get a win for the ball club.”
Arroyo, who now ranks ninth in Reds history with 1,004 strikeouts, struck out six in all and set the tone for a tremendous day for the entire staff. Five Reds pitchers combined to give up eight hits and two runs, and the Reds beat the Marlins 3-2 when Brandon Phillips’ sacrifice fly scored Shin-Soo Choo in the 13th inning.
Arroyo gave up two runs in the fifth. That was it for Miami, which had two hits in the last eight innings.
Aroldis Chapman, Sam LeCure, J.J. Hoover and Alfredo Simon combined to throw six scoreless innings when Arroyo left after the eighth.
Chapman bounced back with a perfect ninth one night after he gave up a go-ahead home run in the ninth to the Marlins’ Justin Ruggiano. Chapman again faced Ruggiano in the ninth and got him to fly out to right.
But the pitching success started with Arroyo, who has thrown eight innings with two runs allowed in each of his last two starts.
“He pitched a heck of a game,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He had them off balance. He gave us everything we needed. We didn’t know we were going to go 13 innings. He saved my bullpen big time.”
Hip skipper: Baker wore a hat with an image of deep-sea diving helmet on the front and the Pink Dolphin logo on the side. According to its website, “Pink Dolphin is a unique and ingenious clothing line embodying exclusivity.”
It’s so exclusive, in fact, that Baker had no idea what he was wearing. His son Darren gave him the hat.
“He said that’s the hippest stuff around,” Baker said. “I said, ‘OK, I guess I’m hip.’ I’m so hip I don’t even know what it is.”
Pizza party: Reds pitchers struck out 12 batters Thursday and Friday. Anytime they strike out 11 or more, fans can exchange their ticket stubs for a free small LaRosa’s pizza with up to four toppings.
The Reds fell one short of the mark Saturday. The fans knew they were close when Simon took the mound for the 13th inning.
“Hey, Simon, one more strikeout and we get pizza,” a fan yelled.
Today’s game: Homer Bailey (1-1, 3.32 ERA) will try to build on his best start of the season in a 1:10 p.m. game today against the Marlins. It’s the third game in the four-game series and the seventh of a 10-game homestand.
Bailey pitched eight scoreless innings Tuesday. The Reds won 1-0. Bailey didn’t get the victory only because the Reds didn’t score until the ninth, which was played the next day.