PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) - Edinson Volquez declared himself all but ready for the regular season with a strong outing against his former team.
The San Diego right-hander limited Cincinnati to two runs and two hits in 5 2-3 innings in the Padres' 5-2 victory over the Reds on Friday night.
Volquez, one of four players acquired by the Padres in a Dec. 17 trade that sent Mat Latos to Cincinnati, allowed a pair of earned runs, struck out six hitters, including 2010 National League MVP Joey Votto twice on called third strikes.
``I'm very close,' Volquez said. ``This was the first time I had my rhythm and mechanics. Even when I was out in front I just made some adjustments. Everything was good. My fastball command. A lot of first-pitch strikes.'
The Padres are hoping Volquez, who went 5-7 with a 5.71 ERA in 20 starts last season, can fill the void in their rotation left by the departure of Latos, who won 23 games over the previous two seasons.
Reds manager Dusty Baker said he expects Volquez, two years removed from reconstructive elbow surgery, to revert to the form that made him a National League All-Star in 2008 when he won 17 games. Volquez struck out two in both the first and sixth innings.
``He looked real good,' Baker said. ``I'm not real surprised. This is the second year after his surgery and he came back earlier than most do. I think he'll have a good year.'
The Padres have also been impressed by how 28-year-old Volquez has performed this spring.
Padres manager Bud Black said Volquez has worked well in his bullpen sessions with Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley to make the proper adjustments. Volquez has shortened his stride to the plate and hasn't held back from showing his best velocity early in starts. Black was impressed how Volquez maintained his effectiveness into the sixth inning against the Reds.
``His stuff was pretty consistent all the way,' Black said. ``I've been as impressed with his breaking ball as I have the changeup. I thought he threw well.'
Cincinnati starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo wasn't as sharp as his counterpart. Arroyo yielded five earned runs and six hits in four innings as his spring ERA rose to 7.62.
Arroyo, who only walked 45 batters in 199 innings last season, also walked five batters in an 80-pitch outing. He walked two in the Padres' four-run first inning, including outfielder Will Venable with the bases loaded. Arroyo walked two more batters in the second inning but mostly avoided trouble after the first.
``Bronson was uncharacteristically wild,' Baker said. ``He struggled with his command. That first inning took a lot out of him, but he got better as the game went on.'
Padres rookie first baseman Yonder Alonso, who came to the Padres in the same as Volquez, went 2-for-3 with a triple. Venable and catcher John Baker, who went 2-for-3, each had two RBIs for San Diego.
Reds reliever Sean Marshall struck out three batters in two shutout innings.
Notes: Cincinnati shortstop Zack Cozart reached base in two of three trips to the plate. Cozart singled and walked and scored twice and is hitting .444. ... Reds outfielders Ryan Ludwick and Jay Bruce each had RBI singles. ... RHP Ryan Madson was sent back to Cincinnati so team doctors can examine his right elbow.
The Associated Press News Service
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