CINCINNATI - Bronson Arroyo stayed unbeaten in Cincinnati by pitching a four-hitter for the second complete game of his career, and the Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 Monday night in a matchup of the NL's top two teams.
Cincinnati set a club record with 17 victories in April and started a new month with the same winning formula - a lot of offense, a little dazzling pitching.
Rich Aurilia hit a solo homer and Felipe Lopez drove in three runs for Cincinnati. Every Reds starter except Arroyo had a hit off left-hander Mark Mulder (2-1), who was denied his 100th career win.
The biggest change in the Reds is the addition of Arroyo (5-0), who has dramatically improved a rotation that was the NL's worst last season. The right-hander is the first Reds starter to win his first five decisions since Paul Wilson went 7-0 in 2004.
Arroyo extended the best start of his career by limiting the Cardinals to Juan Encarnacion's solo homer, three other harmless hits and three walks. His only other complete game was for Pittsburgh on Oct. 2, 2001, against the Mets.
Arroyo also became the first Reds pitcher to go eight innings in three consecutive starts since Jose Rijo in 1994.
The victory left Cincinnati (18-8) in sole possession of first place in the NL Central, a game ahead of the defending champion Cardinals.