By George Von Benko / Special to

05/10/10 11:50 PM ET

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PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Bronson Arroyo allowed just one run on five hits over seven-plus innings as the Reds defeated the Pirates, 2-1, on Monday night at PNC Park.

"Fortunately for me today they hit some balls hard in the outfield that were in the reach of some of our guys," Arroyo said. "It's a totally different ballgame if some of those go in the gap, so I was lucky today, but that's what I love about the game. Some days you don't throw the best ball and come out on top."

Arroyo didn't feel he was on top of his game in this outing.

"I really didn't have a lot of movement today other than my sinker," Arroyo said. "It was going down just enough to get some ground balls, and it really helped me out, because these guys have seen a lot of soft stuff from me in the past and I really didn't have my soft stuff moving too much today. After they started hitting some ground balls, I thought I'd stick to attacking them with sinkers, and it just worked out."

"Arroyo was awesome," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He just hung that one curveball to [Ronny] Cedeno and other than that, that was it. They hit a couple balls hard and we made good defensive plays out there. But he was great."

Pirates manager John Russell gave a tip of the cap to Arroyo.

"When he's on, he's on. He mixes speeds very well, keeps you off balance, uses both sides of the plate. Obviously, he gave us trouble."

Pirates right-hander Ross Ohlendorf, just off the disabled list, made his first start since April 7. Ohlendorf went four innings and gave up one run on three hits. He took the loss, falling to 0-1 on the season.

The Reds staked Arroyo to a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning, when Jay Bruce singled and scored on a double into the left-field corner by Laynce Nix.

Cincinnati nicked Pirates reliever Evan Meek for a unearned run in the eighth inning. Joey Votto reached base on an error by third baseman Adam LaRoche and scored on a double by Scott Rolen.

"That was key," Baker observed, "because you want to tack on every run you can late in the game. That was big. Votto hit that ball a ton down on LaRoche and he got an error on it, but he hit that ball hard. Then, that was a big, big double by Rolen."

The Pirates cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning on a home run by Ronny Cedeno, his third of the campaign.

"That insurance run was big," Arroyo explained, "because it gave me an opportunity, maybe to a fault, to give up the homer. It allowed me to try and attack guys in the eighth and not worry about giving up a homer like I did, unless there was somebody on base. Insurance runs are always huge."

The Reds thought they had a run in the top of the ninth, but Jonny Gomes was thrown out at home plate trying to score on Orlando Cabrera's double.

"I thought he was safe from where I was," Baker reported. "The umpire said he had a good view and he said he blocked the plate, but it looked like he got in there to me. It was a close play -- a bang-bang play."

Arthur Rhodes came on and closed out the eighth inning for the Reds. Francisco Cordero pitch a scoreless ninth, although he walked two batters before recording his 11th save.

"Rhodes did a heck of a job and Cordero closed the game out," Baker said. "You start getting a little nervous and it was almost a replay of the last time here, but this time we got away and got the victory."

Cordero, who blew a save opportunity the last trip to Pittsburgh on April 17, said he wasn't having any flashbacks.

"You just put that behind you," Cordero explained. "I walked two guys and that was the same way the last time I pitched here -- a one-run lead and I walked three guys and I walked in the tying run. You don't think about that, because it probably hurts you. I just said, 'I got to end it right here,' and I made a better pitch. We're happy we got the 'W' and I got the save, and we've got another game to play tomorrow."

George Von Benko is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.