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CHC@ARI: Arroyo holds Cubs to two runs

PHOENIX -- Statistics often tend to flatter a ballplayer, making him appear better than he is.

Then there's Bronson Arroyo and his numbers against the Giants. The quality of his performances against them actually exceed the glittering stats.

Arroyo, who's scheduled to make his Arizona Diamondbacks debut in Thursday's series finale against San Francisco, owns a 5-5 record with a 2.69 ERA in 14 career appearances against the Giants. Yet in his last 10 encounters with San Francisco, all starts, Arroyo has been downright dominant, sporting a 5-2 record with a 1.66 ERA.

Shutouts bracket that 10-start stretch, which dates to September 2006. Arroyo permitted San Francisco three or fewer earned runs in each of those outings and worked seven innings or more six times.

The Giants might be coming along at just the right time for Arroyo. If history holds up, they might help him stay physically whole. A bulging disk in Arroyo's back sidelined him for part of Spring Training, and it was unsure until his final exhibition appearance last Saturday whether he would be ready the first time through the rotation.

Arroyo, 37, has never missed a regular-season start due to health in his career.

Arroyo's counterpart, Giants starter Tim Lincecum, has missed just one turn with an injury. That was an outing on Sept. 8, 2009, when back spasms forced him to skip an assignment against San Diego and enabled Madison Bumgarner to make his Major League debut.

Twice this week, it seemed Lincecum might miss another start. He overcame the bruised left knee that he sustained last Friday, when he was struck by a line drive off the bat of Oakland's Daric Barton. But he endured an upset stomach Tuesday night, briefly endangering his pitching status. Fortunately for the Giants and Lincecum, his condition rapidly improved Wednesday and he'll take his regular turn to start the season.

Unlike Arroyo, Lincecum has sagged instead of surged against his opponent. Since posting a 7-3 record with a 2.43 ERA in his first 16 appearances against the D-backs, Lincecum has gone 1-5, 6.75 in his last seven dates with them.

Giants: Romo finding groove quickly

Closer Sergio Romo has converted his first two save opportunities. Romo looked somewhat vulnerable on Opening Night, when he yielded Miguel Montero's ninth-inning homer before sealing a 9-8 triumph. But he pitched a perfect inning Wednesday as the Giants outlasted the D-backs, 2-0.

Romo has found a groove despite enduring a Spring Training that was neither fruitful nor busy -- at least on the field. He recorded a 12.38 ERA, and though he made 10 appearances, he logged just eight innings.

But Romo spent much of the spring developing a changeup that he's using to complement his renowned slider. So far, he has welcomed the addition. Romo struck out pinch-hitter Eric Chavez with a changeup Monday with the potential tying run on second base.

"I knew I was going to get hit in Spring Training," Romo said. Referring to his experimenting with the changeup, he added, "I came into Spring Training with a plan. I'm not a power guy. It's all about feel for me."

D-backs: Gibson still learning Reed

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson was unsure whether he would use closer Addison Reed three days in a row early on in the season.

"I want him to be healthy all year, and I'm not saying I won't do it, but I'm definitely going to be curious and do my homework before I do," Gibson said.

Reed saved 40 games for the White Sox last year, but the D-backs thought it was possible he had worn down a bit as the season went along.

The D-backs are still bringing former closer J.J. Putz along slowly, so Will Harris could find himself in the closer's role when Gibson decides to give Reed a night off.

Worth noting

• Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt extended his hitting streak to 24 games, matching Tony Womack's binge in 2000 for the second longest in franchise history. Luis Gonzalez's 30-game streak in 1999 remains the D-backs' record.

• Angel Pagan, Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford of the Giants have hit safely in all three games.

• Arizona's Trevor Cahill has lost his first two starts for the second straight season. He has received zero runs of support so far this year.

• The Giants shut out the D-backs at Chase Field on Wednesday for only the second time since the start of the 2011 season. San Francisco blanked Arizona, 1-0, there on Aug. 30, 2013. Comments