Reds break out bats in big win vs. Orioles

Reds break out bats in big win vs. Orioles

CINCINNATI -- For at least one night, the team with the best record in baseball -- the Orioles -- was knocked down a peg. Led by Adam Duvall's five RBIs, the Reds ambushed Baltimore early and went on to a 9-3 victory on Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.

Bronson Arroyo not only earned his first win of 2017, it was his first victory in nearly three years. Working five innings, he won a big league game for the first time since his final start with the D-backs on June 15, 2014, ahead of Tommy John surgery on his elbow and later, a shoulder surgery. Arroyo allowed three earned runs and five hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

Arroyo's first win since 2014

Arroyo was staked to a 9-1 lead through three innings as the Reds batted around in each of the first two innings against Orioles starter Kevin Gausman. With the bases loaded in the first inning, Duvall notched a sacrifice fly for the game's first run and Zack Cozart added an RBI single with two outs. In the second inning with one out, Duvall slugged a grand slam to make it a 6-1 game and Tucker Barnhart's RBI double stretched it to a six-run game.

Barnhart's RBI double

"Any time you can give a guy who knows how to pitch the lead early, he's going to do what he has to do to record some outs," Duvall said. "He did a great job tonight."

Gausman was knocked out after 2 2/3 innings and tied a career-high with eight earned runs allowed on eight hits, three walks, two strikeouts and a hit batter.

"Overall today, it was bad command," Gausman said. "Bad execution. Getting myself in some holes. It just wasn't good."

Following his departure, Joey Votto hit a two-run homer against reliever Vidal Nuno.

The Orioles scored their first run in the second on Jonathan Schoop's broken-bat RBI single that scored Welington Castillo. Adam Jones contributed a two-run homer to left field off of Arroyo in the fifth inning, but by that point, Cincinnati had a commanding lead.

Cincinnati improved its record to 9-5 to remain on top of the NL Central race while Baltimore dropped to 8-4.

With the wind blowing toward left, Duvall took advantage of an 0-2 pitch from Gausman and lifted it into the left-field seats for the first grand slam of his big league career. According to Statcast™, the ball wasn't even crushed as it left the bat at 92 mph. But he got it up in the air enough and it traveled an estimated 356 feet.

Duvall's grand slam

"Every time he made a mistake, they made him pay for it," O's manager Buck Showalter said. The fourth homer of his season also snapped an 0-for-13 skid for Duvall.

Bullpen smooth: The Reds bullpen got some rest with Monday's day off, but added four more innings to its Major League-leading total that is now 61 2/3. But the foursome of Blake Wood, Cody Reed, Tony Cingrani and Drew Storen combined to retire 11 of the last 13 batters. Cincinnati's bullpen has the second-best ERA in the NL at 2.48

"Even though it wasn't a complete game -- five innings [by Arroyo] -- it's a lot better than it could have been," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Left fielder Seth Smith  left in the sixth inning with a strained right hamstring.

"We'll see where we are tomorrow," Showalter said. "It was bad enough that he had to come out of the game. It's the same one he injured in Spring Training. It's a potential disabled list."

Storen recorded an immaculate inning in the ninth, striking out the side using nine pitches, a feat that's been achieved just three times previously by the Reds. The last time three strikeouts came on nine pitches in an inning was by Carlos Contreras on July 11, 2014, vs. the Pirates. It was also done by Rob Dibble (June 4, 1989, vs. the Padres) and Hod Eller (Aug. 21, 1917, vs. the New York Giants).

Storen's immaculate inning

Ubaldo Jimenez gets the ball for Game 2 of the series on Wednedsday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Jimenez has gone 4 1/3 innings and allowed five runs in his two starts this season. The O's could use an extended outing after Gausman went short Tuesday night.

Reds: Amir Garrett will make his third start of the season, looking to keep his nice beginning to his big league career going vs. Baltimore. Garrett is 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his two starts, including two runs over 6 2/3 innings in a 9-2 win over the Pirates on Wednesday.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

John Fay is a contributor to and covered the Orioles on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.