Cincinnati Reds: Todd Frazier Flops in First Start as Reds Beat Cardinals

Dan AllenCorrespondent IIApril 19, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 3: Todd Frazier #21 of the Cincinnati Reds is congratulated by Brandon Phillips #4 after scoring a run against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on September 3, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Jeff Curry/Getty Images

It only took a couple days for Todd Frazier to draw a start after being called up to the big leagues.

As the Cincinnati Reds turned their fortunes around against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday afternoon, Frazier got his first playing time of the season in a spot start for veteran third baseman Scott Rolen.

Frazier responded by playing poorly both at the plate and at third base. He went hit-less in four at-bats with a strikeout and two runners left on base. Frazier also made a throwing error on an easy ground ball off the bat of Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday.

Following today's games, Frazier may have just given Dusty Baker more reason to play Wilson Valdez and Willie Harris more as reserve players.

Frazier, who made the Opening Day roster after clobbering opposing pitchers in spring training, was quickly cut before the first game of the season in favor of then-recently acquired reliever Alfredo Simon.

Simon had been waived by the Baltimore Orioles, and Cincinnati needed some bullpen help with reliever Nick Masset headed to the disabled list. Through ten games at Triple-A Louisville, Frazier has batted .231 with one home run and seven RBI.

Unless Frazier can turn it around quickly, chances are he'll be headed back down to the minors when utility man Miguel Cairo returns from the disabled list.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati managed to pull out a win behind a quality pitching performance from veteran Bronson Arroyo and big hitting from Drew Stubbs, Brandon Phillips and Ryan Ludwick.

Stubbs managed three hits with a solo home run in the seventh inning to up his batting average to .229. Stubbs entered the game hitting a lowly .186 through 43 at-bats.

Phillips, Ludwick, and Jay Bruce each contributed two hits apiece, with Phillips and Ludwick knocking out a home run each. All three are still batting below the .240 line after tonight's game, indicative of Cincinnati's hitting drought to open the 2012 season.

Arroyo earned the win with eight innings of five hit ball. His only blemish was a three-run home run given up to Matt Holliday in the sixth inning. Arroyo's second consecutive quality start, he is now 1-0 with a 2.91 ERA through three starts.

Sean Marshall earned his second save of the season with a solid three strikeout performance in the ninth inning.