PHOENIX -- In a 3-2 Reds win over the D-backs, most of the storylines happened to come from Bronson Arroyo's corner. Not only did Arroyo pitch well for six innings, it was his home run in the top of the sixth inning that held up as the game winner.
"It's another unlikely hero," Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Arroyo, the hitter. "That was a game we really needed, especially after the Cardinals won."
Cincinnati, in the final series in a stretch of 34 games over 34 days, maintained its six-game lead over second-place St. Louis in the National League Central. It was the Cardinals that took two of three from the Reds in a series that wrapped on Sunday at Great American Ball Park.
No time to lick wounds, time to keep pushing forward. Arroyo (11-7) made it easier to do that on the mound and with the bat.
In the sixth inning with two outs and the game tied, 2-2, Arroyo drove a 3-2 Tyler Skaggs pitch to left field that appeared to bounce off the top of the wall. Third base umpire and crew chief Derryl Cousins immediately ruled the ball did not clear the fence and Arroyo reached second base with a stand-up double.
Before play continued, Baker asked for the umpires to confer over the call. Cousins and his crew left the field to review it via video replay, and then overturned the original call to award Arroyo with a home run. The video showed the ball actually did clear the fence, and ricocheted off a railing before going back into play.
"We just knew that ball ricocheted too hard to just hit off the wall there," Baker said. "Thank God for instant replay. That was the game winner."
It also rewarded a hard-fought at-bat for Arroyo, who fouled off a pair of 3-2 pitches before hitting the eighth pitch from Skaggs out.
"He was throwing me a lot of four-seamers that weren't moving a whole lot," said Arroyo, who has six career homers after getting his first since June 17, 2010. "A lot of them were just up and away and I was popping them up like I did the first at-bat. I thought if he threw it middle-in, I'd have a chance to at least hit it hard. He did and luckily I got just enough of it to win the ballgame."
The homer upheld a strong start on the mound. Arroyo gave up two runs and five hits with one walk and three strikeouts to improve to 4-0 with a 2.86 ERA over his last four starts and 7-1 with a 3.44 ERA over his last eight starts.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.