GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- After some rather inflated run totals in the early going of Cactus League games, Reds starting pitchers have started to put some nice outings together.
Over the last three games, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos and Bronson Arroyo have combined to post a 1.50 ERA with two earned runs over 12 innings. On Saturday in a 9-2 win over the Indians, Arroyo gave up one run on four hits over four innings with no walks and two strikeouts in a well-pitched outing.
"Regardless of how long you've been playing the game and I know Spring Training has been going smooth for the whole team, you never want to see your starting pitchers get racked around a lot," Arroyo said. "It gives a bad mood to the organization as far as the way things are headed, even though it doesn't mean a whole lot. It was nice to go out there, get off to a good start and have a nice lead and make everybody comfortable about what we're doing out there."
Not a coincidence to manager Dusty Baker, the Reds have played much better in recent days.
"That's the key. Games we haven't played well or performed well didn't have good starting pitching," Baker said before Saturday's game. "It's no secret. That's where it starts. These guys are coming around. Keep remembering it's how you finish, not how you start."
Arroyo, who has a 6.00 ERA after three starts, gave up four runs and six hits over two innings against the Cubs on Monday. While the results were better this time, he still didn't feel his best as he threw 50 pitches in the game and 17 more in the bullpen following his start.
"I threw the ball the way I wanted to," Arroyo said. "I got the cutter to move today, which I haven't been able to do in a long time. I worked on some stuff the last few days and kind of executed it the way I wanted to. I feel good about that."