Reds relievers (left to right) Wandy Peralta, Raisel Iglesias, Robert Stephenson, Barrett Astin and Cody Reed stand for the national anthem before a game against the Brewers on Thursday, April 13, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

Cody Reed to return to Reds’ starting rotation

Reed hasn’t allowed a run or a hit in four appearances. He walked four batters in two innings in his first appearance. He has retired the side in order in his last six innings.

“He’s throwing three pitches for strikes,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He’s keeping himself in better counts. He’s not having to constantly dig himself out of bad counts. He’s probably pitching with a bit more confidence now. I think that’s why this is a good time to springboard him back into the rotation coming off those really good outings. I would think his confidence is as high as it’s been since he’s been here.”

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Reed struggled as a rookie starter last season, posting an 0-7 record and 7.36 ERA in 10 starts. He became the second pitcher in Reds history to finish a season with seven losses without a victory.

Reed, 23, still entered the 2017 season as the organization’s second-ranked prospect, according to Baseball America. Price saw Reed’s confidence waver last season and has seen a different pitcher this season.

“There’s just an unintentional body language,” Price said. “That is something you can easily sense with pitchers and with hitters when they’re not going well. It’s a very common thing. It’s just something that happens when you have a period of struggle. That’s why I think utilizing the bullpen as a transitional piece to getting back in the rotation is a really good idea. You don’t have to manage the four days in between a start. You don’t have to manage a lineup three or four times to have a good ballgame. When your number’s called, you don’t have a lot of time to think about it. You go out there and get ready to pitch.”

Historic performance: Bronson Arroyo became the first 40-year-old Reds pitcher since Boom-Boom Beck in 1945 to win a game Tuesday. He allowed three earned runs in five innings as the Reds beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-3 at Great American Ball Park.

Arroyo bought himself more time in the rotation after struggling in his first start. It was his first big-league win since June 15, 2014.

“I want to give this team the best opportunity to win the most ballgames, and that’s just the way it always has to be,” Arroyo said. “It can’t be ego driven. So if I’m feeling tired after 75 to 80 pitches, there might come a time when some of the young guys step into my role and I have to be a long guy in the pen or something like that.”

Mesoraco update: Devin Mesoraco caught all nine innings Monday and Tuesday for Double-A Pensacola. He’s hitting .143 (4-for-28) in eight games as he continues a rehabilitation assignment.

“He came out of it just fine,” Price said. “This is that point in time where we reassess what he needs for any finishing touches or polish before he’s activated.”

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