Published November 20, 2014
Three games at Wrigley Field, a total of three runs scored. That was enough to convince Arizona manager Kirk Gibson that it was time to shake things up.
Everything he did worked out.
The Diamondbacks emerged from their slump by scoring early and piling up 13 hits against a first-place team. Miguel Montero drove in four runs with a bases-loaded double and a solo homer during a 5-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
"We switched it around a little bit," Gibson said. "It was productive. Hopefully it stays that way for us."
The slumping Diamondbacks scored four runs in the first off Bronson Arroyo (4-6), who lasted a season-low three innings. The Reds had gotten impressive starts during a six-game winning streak that boosted them into first place in the NL Central.
All-Star left-hander Wade Miley (10-5) gave up three runs in 5 2-3 innings. J.J. Putz gave up a hit in the ninth while getting his 17th save in 20 chances.
Gibson revamped the lineup after Arizona scored a total of three runs while losing three games in Chicago. The biggest switch was dropping Justin Upton — in a 1-for-10 slump — to the fifth spot for the first time this season.
Didn't take long for the changes to have an effect.
The Diamondbacks scored four runs before making an out against Arroyo, who looked out of sync from his nine-day layoff over the All-Star break. Stephen Drew, Willie Bloomquist and Aaron Hill singled, and Montero — in a 6-for-32 slump — doubled home all three runners on Arroyo's 10th pitch of the game. Upton followed with a single for a 4-0 lead, getting the Reds' bullpen busy.
"Anytime you score four runs, it takes a lot of pressure off the offense and defense," Miley said.
Montero led off the third with his ninth homer, making it 69 straight games at Great American Ball Park with at least one homer. It's the longest streak since an 80-game stretch at Coors Field from 2002-03.
Arroyo was coming off a three-hit shutout in San Diego. He gave up eight hits and five runs in only three innings on Monday night, leaving after 48 pitches.
Miley, who pitched in the All-Star game on Tuesday, also struggled at the start. The left-hander gave up an RBI double by Brandon Phillips in the first inning and a two-run single by Drew Stubbs in the second. He settled down after that hit, retiring the next 11 batters.
Miley started pitching inside and being more aggressive after the Reds got their third run.
"Once I hit the third inning, I settled down and gained some confidence," he said.
The Reds kept it at 5-3 with a weird play in the seventh. Bill Bray threw a ball over the plate after catcher Ryan Hanigan stepped out and put up his hand to complete an intentional walk to Chris Young. Montero tried to score from third, but was tagged out.
The Reds were missing first baseman Joey Votto, who has torn cartilage in his left knee and will have surgery on Tuesday. Cincinnati got the MRI results shortly before the game started. He'll be out for three to four weeks.
Votto hurt his left knee while sliding on June 29, but kept playing. He started for the National League in the All-Star game on Tuesday, and played all three games of a sweep over the St. Louis Cardinals that left Cincinnati alone in first place in the NL Central.
With the knee still sore, he had the test on Monday evening. He'll have surgery on Tuesday, costing the Reds their top hitter. Votto is batting .342 and leads the NL in doubles, walks and extra-base hits.
NOTES: Todd Frazier started in Votto's place and went 1 for 4. The Reds plan to make a roster move on Tuesday. ... The blister on RHP Johnny Cueto's right index finger was better, so he'll make his scheduled start on Tuesday against Arizona. ... Diamondbacks OF Jason Kubel was out of the lineup for the third straight game because of a sore hamstring. Gibson said there was no thought of putting him on the DL for now. ... Diamondbacks broadcaster Jeff Munn was in a Cincinnati chili parlor when President Obama walked in on Monday during a campaign visit.
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