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Arroyo is Cincy’s go-to guy

By Rick Gano THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHICAGO – Here’s what Bronson Arroyo has shown the Cincinnati Reds since joining them less than a month ago: He can beat the Chicago Cubs and he can hit home runs off Glendon Rusch.

Arroyo, with no homers in his first six major league seasons, hit his second off Rusch in six days yesterday, one of six long balls by the Reds as they routed the Cubs 9-2 on a windy day at Wrigley Field.

“I got lucky again. Just keep hacking,” Arroyo said after throwing seven shutout innings and hitting a ball over the left-field bleachers that landed on Waveland Avenue.

“I really just couldn’t believe where the pitch was because it was almost identical to last time. … I was a little surprised,” he added. “I knew the wind was going out, I got it good like I did last time. I figured that it wasn’t going to land anywhere in the park.”

Adam Dunn hit a pair of solo shots and Ken Griffey Jr. and Arroyo had one each off Rusch in the first four innings. Edwin Encarnacion hit his first career grand slam and Austin Kearns followed with another homer, both off Will Ohman in the sixth.

“He’s got more homers than Wily Mo already,” Dunn said of Arroyo, who was traded from the Red Sox on March 20 for Wily Mo Pena.

“He’s got a good swing. That’s impressive. He’s shown me two tools so far.”

Arroyo, who hit his first homer since high school off Rusch on April 5 at Great American Ball Park, connected for the Reds’ third of the game leading off the third. Arroyo’s homer last week was his first hit since 2001.

“I don’t have anything for you,” Rusch said, unable to explain how he could give up two homers to the same previously light-hitting pitcher in less than a week. “He took two pitches and hit them good. Other than that there is nothing I can say.”

Arroyo (2-0) also pitched well in beating Chicago for the second time in two starts, an outing made easier by all the run support. He shut down the Cubs and ended their three-game winning streak, allowing six hits.

“Luckily for us we just got more balls in the air than they did,” Arroyo said. “These guys can do enough damage on their own but I guess if I can help out the cause, I’ll keep doing it. If the wind is blowing out, we have a team that can put up some runs. That gives confidence to the starting pitching.”

Derrek Lee, who just signed a $65 million, five-year contract, doubled in Chicago’s first run in the eighth off reliever Chris Hammond. Michael Barrett homered in the ninth.

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