Paul Janish hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the seventh inning and Bronson Arroyo overcame Kelly Johnson's early two-run homer to pitch into the eighth, helping the Cincinnati Reds open a crucial 12-game road trip with a 6-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.
Arroyo (13-7) rallied after giving up Johnson's 19th homer two batters into the game and Scott Rolen had two of his three RBIs on a ninth-inning single to push Cincinnati 17 games over .500 (68-51) for the first time since finishing the 1999 season 99-67.
The Reds offset a career-high 10 strikeouts by Daniel Hudson (3-1) with 11 hits, padding their NL Central lead to two games with a season high-matching fifth straight road win.
The Reds got to the desert on an emotional upswing.
The low came early last week, when Cincinnati was swept by St. Louis in a tense, three-game series at home. The Reds alleviated some of the sting with their three-game, weekend sweep over Florida to go back atop the division.
The big swings set up a critical trip through the west, not one of their favorite places to play.
Cincinnati has seen many seasons blow up with wicked West Coast swings and is just 16-35 in the Pacific time zone over the past five years. The Reds have had some success against Arizona, but have a 12-game losing streak at Dodger Stadium, the next stop after Phoenix before heading to San Francisco.
Arroyo got the trip off to a rough start, giving up a leadoff double to Chris Young and Johnson's homer to right on a 1-2 slider over the middle of the plate. The high-kicking right-hander hit his stride, so to speak, after that, retiring the next 11 batters before Miguel Montero lined a single to center with two outs in the fourth inning.
Arroyo gave up a leadoff double to Johnson in the eighth inning and was lifted with one out after allowing three runs and six hits. Arthur Rhodes struck out Adam LaRoche and Montero to strand Johnson.
Hudson set a career-high with nine strikeouts against Milwaukee last Wednesday and was well ahead of that pace against the Reds, fanning eight in the first three innings.
Hudson didn't miss as many bats after that, though, and the Reds capitalized.
Cincinnati had a run erased in the fifth inning when Drew Stubbs missed third base on Janish's double and was called out on appeal.
Laynce Nix managed to touch the bag in the next inning, scoring on Rolen's run-scoring single to right. Another run came in on Jay Bruce's second straight 3-6-3 double play, tying the score at 2-all.
Janish didn't have to worry about his teammates' feet in the seventh inning, lifting a solo homer to left, his fourth, to break the tie. Cincinnati added to the lead in the ninth on two hit batters, a wild pitch by D.J. Carrasco and Rolen's single.
Hudson allowed three runs and nine hits.
Notes: Arizona has 23 homers since Aug. 1, matching Washington for most on the NL. ... Cincinnati has won six straight at Arizona. ... LaRoche made what's becoming a routine play for him at first in the seventh inning, snaring Arroyo's foul pop as he leaned over the rail.