Astros 4, Reds 3(10)
A couple of weeks ago Jose Altuve, Jimmy Paredes and J.D. Martinez were playing for Double-A Corpus Christi and wishing they were in the majors.
Altuve drove in a run on a fielder's choice in the 10th inning to lift the new-look Astros to the victory.
The bases were loaded when Altuve hit a hard grounder to Brandon Phillips, who grabbed it and made a throw home from his knees. But catcher Ryan Hanigan couldn't handle the throw, allowing Humberto Quintero to score.
''When he stopped the ball, I was like: `Wow,''' Altuve said. ''Then I saw the ball in the dirt and we won the game and I felt very good.''
Phillips didn't have much to say about the play.
''I was on the ground. All I know is that we lost. I don't know how good the throw was,'' he said. ''I know we tried to win. Nobody tried to do anything negative. We lost. That's the way it is.''
Quintero singled with no outs in the 10th inning before pinch-hitter Angel Sanchez singled to shallow center field to send Quintero to third base. Logan Ondrusek (4-4) then intentionally walked Brian Bogusevic to load the bases and bring up Altuve.
The Astros debuted a retooled lineup that featured several new faces after they traded stars Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn this weekend and sent former starters Chris Johnson and Brett Wallace to Triple-A.
Third baseman Paredes made his major league debut after being called up from Double-A and hit a two-run triple in his first at-bat in Houston's big second inning that gave the Astros a 3-0 lead. Martinez singled and scored a run in that inning.
''I think you're able to say hey, we've got some talented players,'' Houston manager Brad Mills said of the young players. ''And it's nice to see these guys just keep battling. There's no preconceived ideas of how they have to go about things or how they do things, they just come up here and play.''
Bronson Arroyo allowed four of his six hits in Houston's three-run second before shutting down the Astros for the next six innings. He retired 18 of the next 19 batters he faced after the four second-inning hits, including 12 in a row after a single by Clint Barmes with one out in the fourth.
He didn't allow another hit until Bogusevic's broken bat single with one out in the eighth inning but retired the next two Astros to end the inning. The Reds, however, couldn't provide any offense for him.
''We wanted to give him the win, and we had a chance to when we took them out of the game, but we couldn't get the big hit,'' Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ''They just got a lot of singles.''
Nick Masset allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth for the Reds before he was replaced by Ondrusek.
Mark Melancon (6-3) pitched the ninth and 10th for Houston, allowing just one hit for the win.
Houston starter Bud Norris tied a career high by allowing 10 hits and gave up three runs in five-plus innings before leaving with a blister on his right middle finger.
Miguel Cairo, Joey Votto and Phillips hit consecutive singles to load the bases with no outs in the fifth inning. Jay Bruce grounded into a double play on which Cairo scored to tie it 3-all. Norris walked Yonder Alonso before escaping the jam by retiring Ryan Hanigan for the third out.
Drew Stubbs singled and stole second base in the third inning. The Reds cut Houston's lead to 3-1 with an RBI double by Votto. The hit extended his streak of extra-base hits at Minute Maid Park to 11. That's the longest streak of its kind by a player at any park since former Astro Jeff Bagwell did it in 11 straight games from 1993-95 at Candlestick Park, according to statistics provided by the Reds from the Elias Sports bureau.
Phillips got Cincinnati to 3-2 with his run-scoring single to shallow center field. Phillips was caught stealing on a strikeout by Bruce to allow Norris to limit the damage.
Carlos Lee walked in the second inning, but was thrown out at third on a single by Martinez. Barmes singled before the triple by Paredes scored Martinez and Barmes to put Houston up 2-0. A double by Quintero scored Paredes to push the lead to 3-0.
NOTES: Phillips extended his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games. ... Paredes is the first player in franchise history to triple in his first major league plate appearance according to statistics provided by the Astros from Elias. ... Houston OF Jordan Schafer, who was acquired on Sunday from Atlanta in the trade for Bourn, was examined by the Astros' medical staff on Monday. Schafer, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 20, was diagnosed with an injury to a joint on the middle finger of his left hand and is expected to be ready to play in the middle of August. He should be able to start swinging later this week.