As batting practice kicked off, many of the Cincinnati Reds players were seen talking to ex-Red Bronson Arroyo. Just a few hours later many of those players would be facing off against him but it didn't seem to phase them as Devin Mesoraco's two home runs, including a grand slam, was enough to take down Arroyo and the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 at Chase Field in Phoenix.
"We're looking for steps in the right direction. We don't have to build Rome in a day," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "But we need to make constant improvements. We have to continue to battle and put more balls in play and find ways to scratch out hits."
Arizona took a quick lead in the first inning. After A.J. Pollock singled to lead off the game, he stole second base. He advanced to third on a ground out and Paul Goldschmidt brought him home with a one-out ground out.
Cincinnati looked strong in the second. They led off the inning with three consecutive singles by Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, and Roger Bernadina. That's when Mesoraco took over and crushed the first pitch he saw from Arroyo, a 69 MPH curveball, into the left field seats to give the Reds a 4-1 lead.
"I think going into the game, I was aware that he likes to flip that easy breaking ball in there for a first-pitch strike, especially in situations where he really needs a strike," Mesoraco said. "I wouldn't say I was looking for it but I went up there with an idea that may be coming."
"A huge play there by Brandon and Leaker to get that final out of the sixth. I don't want to say a game-saver but a game-changer for sure," Price said.
"It was big," Price said of the victory. "There were a lot of things that went well."