Amid some inconsistent hitting during a rough stretch of games, the Cincinnati Reds turned in a big day at the plate in their last contest.
They may not need to score as many runs with Bronson Arroyo on the hill.
Arroyo tries to win a career high-tying fifth consecutive start as the visiting Reds open a three-game set against the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.
Cincinnati (75-59) had collected six hits in 29 at_bats with runners in scoring position during a 1-4 stretch, and the Reds had alternated scoring six runs and one in the past four contests. The club then went 5 for 10 with runners in scoring position in a 10-0 road win over St. Louis on Wednesday.
Jay Bruce was 2 for 4 with a home run and a season-high five RBIs while Brandon Phillips added two hits and two runs in his first game since moving to the two-hole.
Phillips' contributions came after his expletive-filled tirade at a Cincinnati Enquirer reporter, who commented on his .311 on-base percentage.
"That was my original lineup from the beginning - Brandon batting second - trying to put more guys on base in front of Joey (Votto) and Jay," manager Dusty Baker told MLB's official website.
The Reds, 3 1/2 games out in the NL Central, now give the ball to Arroyo (13-9, 3.42 ERA), who has posted a 2.33 ERA during his winning streak. The right-hander hasn't won five consecutive starts since June 29-July 23, 2008.
Arroyo surrendered three runs in seven-plus innings to beat Milwaukee 6-3 on Saturday.
"You know Bronson can do that sometimes and settle down," Baker said after Arroyo gave up two runs in the second inning. "The next thing you know, you're in the seventh."
Arroyo has recorded 14 2-3 scoreless innings in winning his last two starts against the Rockies, most recently throwing eight innings of four-hit ball in a 3-0 victory June 3. He had gone 0-2 with an 8.84 ERA in his first four outings at Coors Field before leading the Reds to a 3-0 victory there July 27, 2012.
One Rockies player Arroyo hasn't done well against is Troy Tulowitzki, 5 for 12 with two homers in their matchups. Tulowitzki, batting .409 in his last 12 games, has hit .424 with 11 homers and 23 RBIs in his last 18 against Cincinnati.
The Reds had dropped 12 of 13 at Colorado before recording a three-game sweep July 27-29, 2012.
The Rockies (63-72) have won four of six after taking two of three from San Francisco. Yorvit Torrealba drove in two runs and Jhoulys Chacin carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in a 5-4 victory Wednesday.
With Thursday's off day and Tyler Chatwood penciled in for Sunday, it is uncertain if Colorado will turn to scheduled starter Jeff Manship (0-4, 6.86) or move Jorge De La Rosa's turn up from Saturday.
While Manship has dropped each of his four starts since getting called up Aug. 8, De La Rosa has compiled a 3.09 ERA in winning a season high-tying four outings in a row. The left-hander allowed three runs in five innings of a 4-3 victory at Miami on Sunday.
"He really labored," manager Walt Weiss said of De La Rosa, who owns a 3.28 ERA. "His thumb is as bad as it's been in a while. He wasn't himself. He fought to get through the innings he got through. He's dealt with hand issues all year, and he's 14-6."
De La Rosa is 1-2 with a 9.26 ERA in three career starts versus the Reds, last facing them in 2010. Ryan Ludwick is 2 for his last 14 against him.
The Associated Press News Service
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