Price: Reds might be better than even players thought

Split with Yankees offers ‘reinforcing message’ that team is for real

During an interview with the MLB Network’s “Intentional Talk” show on Tuesday, Cincinnati Reds starter Scott Feldman showed off a T-shirt that has become popular in the clubhouse this season. It features a photo of Bronson Arroyo and the words “Return of the Living Dead” with gravestones marking some of the former teammates Arroyo has outlasted.

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“He’s the last man standing out of all his old teammates,” Feldman said.

Arroyo’s return to the Reds and his improved pitching in recent weeks has been one of the best storylines for the team in the first fifth of the season. Arroyo (3-2, 6.53 ERA) will start the first game of a seven-game road trip Thursday in San Francisco. The Reds play four games against the Giants and then three against the Cubs in Chicago.

Cincinnati beat the New York Yankees 5-3 on Tuesday to split a two-game series. The Reds (18-15) trail the St. Louis Cardinals (18-14) by a half game in the NL Central.

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The Reds opened the season with seven wins in nine games and then lost 11 of their next 14 games. A nine-game homestand started May 1, and they went 7-2.

“It’s certainly better than doing damage control,” manager Bryan Price said Tuesday. “We figured a way to string together some wins. We had a nice series against Pittsburgh and San Francisco, and we were able to split with the Yankees. That was more important than anything. They beat us up a little bit (10-4 on Monday). To come back and play a better game was a great reinforcing message to our guys. I think they already know we’ve got a good club, but beating a team that’s really been hot is an exclamation point on the early part of the season. We have a better club than even some of the players thought.”

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The Giants (11-23) lost their fifth straight game Tuesday. They have the worst record in baseball.

The last time the Reds played a four-game series in San Francisco in 2014, they swept the series. It was the first time the Giants had been swept in four games at AT&T Park. The Reds are 39-24 against the Giants since the start of the 2008 season.

The Reds are four wins ahead of last year’s pace when they were 14-19 through 33 games. At that point, they already trailed the Cubs by 11½ games.

The winning homestand proves the team’s early success this season might not be a mirage.

“It’s great for us,” starter Tim Adelman said. “At end of the day, the most important thing is the Reds have more runs than the opponents. As long as we keep doing that, that’s big. We’ll just take it one game at a time and try to continue to play good baseball.”


Reds at Giants, 10:15 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410

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