The Reds broke a three-game losing streak and a 21-inning runless streak yesterday afternoon with a 4-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Bronson Arroyo allowed four runs (earned) on seven hits and three walks through six innings of work. Chris Hammond pitched a hitless seventh. David Weathers allowed zero runs on two hits through the eighth and ninth for the win.
Hammond's ERA now stands at 5.51. It's a number so unnoteworthy that new readers probably don't even know why I bring it up.
After Arroyo gave up three runs in the top of the first, it was feeling like it was going to be another one of those days. But Ryan Freel celebrated his return to starter-dom with a lead-off home run, which provided excitement if not anything resembling a lead.
The Reds managed to keep their error count to one this time. Again our buddy Freel contributed in that department, allowing Shawn Green to advance to second on a fielding error in the sixth. The Diamondbacks did score another run in the sixth, but it wasn't Green.
In the bottom of the eighth, David Ross singled and Scott Hatteberg hit a home run to bring the score within one. Freel doubled and Felipe Lopez sacrificed him to third, but after an intentional walk of Ken Griffey, Jr., Rich Aurilia struck out and Adam Dunn lined out to end the threat.
It was a frustrating night for Dunn, who went 0-for-4. When he was called out on strikes in the seventh inning, he took it up with the home plate umpire. Manager Jerry Narron came out to protect his slugger and got himself kicked out of the game in the process.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Austin Kearns took a big swing and sent the ball dribbling into the infield. He legged it out to first to set up Javier Valentín for the big walk-off home run.
The win brings the Reds record to 28-22. Today they begin a nine-game road trip, with three games with the Cubs, Astros, and Cardinals. Elizardo Ramirez faces Kerry Wood at 2:20. That sounds fair.