Arroyo homers again for Reds

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CHICAGO – Bronson Arroyo had no homers in his first six major league seasons. Now the long-legged Cincinnati pitcher has two in one week.

On a windy day at Wrigley Field, Arroyo and his Reds teammates used a bevy of long balls to beat the Chicago Cubs.

Arroyo pitched seven shutout innings and hit one of Cincinnati’s six homers, Edwin Encarnacion connected for a grand slam and the Reds routed the Cubs 9-2.

Adam Dunn hit a pair of solo shots and Ken Griffey Jr. and Arroyo had one each off Glendon Rusch. Encarnacion hit his first career slam and Austin Kearns followed with another homer, both off Will Ohman in the sixth.

Arroyo, who hit his first homer since high school off Rusch six days before at Great American Ball Park, connected for the Reds’ third of the game leading off the third on a shot into the left-field seats. Arroyo’s homer last week was his first hit since 2001.

Acquired in a March 20 trade from the Red Sox, Arroyo (2-0) also pitched well, an outing made easier by all the run support. He shut down the Cubs and ended their three-game winning streak, allowing six hits.

Derrek Lee, who just signed a $65 million, five-year contract, doubled in Chicago’s first run in the eighth off reliever Chris Hammond. Michael Barrett homered in the ninth.

With the wind blowing out at 17 mph, Griffey connected on a long solo shot off Rusch in the first, his second of the season and 538th of his career. Dunn hit an even longer one in the second, a drive to center. He connected again in the fourth.

Rusch (0-2) also yielded two homers last week to the Reds in an 8-6 loss. He gave up five hits, four of them homers, and four runs in five innings.

Ohman couldn’t get a batter out in the sixth.

Leading 4-0, the Reds loaded the bases when Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez and shortstop Ronny Cedeno had a mix up and let Griffey’s wind-blown pop fall for a single in short left, Rich Aurilia singled and Dunn walked. Encarnacion followed with his grand slam and Kearns hit the Reds’ fifth solo shot of the day as the boos poured down.

Notes: Cubs RHP Mark Prior, working his way back from a strained shoulder muscle that landed him on the DL, threw about 30 pitches from the bullpen mound before the game. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild said Prior has progressed to a point where he doesn’t feel any pain. He will throw again Friday in Arizona. … Before his homer last week in Cincinnati, Arroyo was 4-for-55 career with 33 strikeouts. He finished 1-for-3 Tuesday. … It was the most homers allowed by a Cubs pitching staff since giving up seven to the Astros on Sept. 9, 2000, in a 14-4 loss at Wrigley. … Chicago RF Jacque Jones left in the sixth with a strained right hamstring.

AP-ES-04-11-06 1710EDT

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