Astros 5, Reds 3
After allowing a combined 14 first-inning runs in their last
four losses, the Houston Astros were determined to get out of the
opening inning on Sunday without falling behind.
Jordan Lyles let them do just that, keeping the Reds hitless
until the third and going seven strong innings to lead the Astros
to a 5-3 win over Cincinnati.
Justin Maxwell had a two-run homer to help the Astros snap a
season-worst eight-game skid.
”It’s not easy (when you) give another major league team a
three or four spot in the first inning,” Lyles said. ”I had to
really bear down from the get-go and not try to hold anything back
or save anything. My main focus was to get through that first
Zack Cozart hit a two-run homer off Lyles in the third inning,
but the Reds couldn’t get anything else going against the 21 year
He allowed five hits and struck out three in his longest start
of the year. It’s the first win of the season for Lyles (1-1) and
his first since last Aug. 20.
”What an effort from Jordan Lyles. That was absolutely
outstanding,” Houston manager Brad Mills said. ”He came right out
and shut that down and started making pitches right away.”
He has made five starts for Houston, but spent most of the
season in Triple-A. Brett Myers pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 13th
Mills said Lyles will remain with the team and become a regular
part of the rotation. He hopes that will help him improve.
”It can give a calming effect to him maybe, some consistency
knowing he’s going to get another start,” Mills said.
The Astros trailed by one in the fifth inning before an RBI
single by Marwin Gonzalez and a sacrifice fly by Jordan Schafer
made it 3-2.
Maxwell’s homer to the Crawford Boxes in left field came in the
seventh inning and chased Reds starter Bronson Arroyo (2-4). It was
his major league-leading third pinch-hit homer this year and
extended Houston’s lead to 5-2.
Arroyo yielded a season-high five earned runs on eight hits in 6
1-3 innings to remain winless since May 7.
”They ran a bunch of guys out there that I didn’t know a whole
lot about,” Arroyo said. ”It was a battle where I made some good
pitches and some bad pitches, but it just winded up being too many
runs to overcome.”
Todd Frazier doubled to start the eighth inning and a single by
Cozart left Frazier at third. Joey Votto’s sacrifice fly with one
out got Cincinnati to 5-3. Schafer had to sprint to make the catch
on that play right at the wall in center field.
”That really could have started stirring things around if that
ball would have fell in,” Mills said. ”That was just a great
An error on that play allowed Cozart to advance to third, but
Brandon Phillips grounded out to end the threat.
Chris Johnson walked with one out before a single by Brett
Wallace left runners at the corners for Houston in the second
inning. Johnson scored on a sacrifice fly by Jason Castro to make
The Reds didn’t get a hit until Arroyo’s single with two outs in
the third. Cozart’s homer to left field came next to put Cincinnati
Lyles got back on track after that, and the Reds didn’t threaten
again until the sixth inning. Drew Stubbs singled with one out
before Phillips drew a two out walk. But Lyles retired Jay Bruce to
end the inning.
Wallace collected his second single in the fifth inning before a
single by Castro sent him to third. Gonzalez’s single to center
field scored Wallace to tie it at 2.
A sacrifice bunt by Lyles advanced the runners to second and
third and Houston took the 3-2 lead when Castro scored on the
sacrifice fly by Schafer.
Phillips put on a defensive show in the fourth inning with two
nifty plays. The first came when he snagged a grounder by J.D.
Martinez and twirled around to make the throw to first base. He
then robbed Johnson of a hit when he stretched out for a diving
catch to end the inning.
NOTES: Houston placed 1B Carlos Lee on the 15-day disabled list
because of a left hamstring strain and recalled Wallace from
Triple-A Oklahoma City before Sunday’s game. It’s just the second
time in his career that the 35-year-old Lee has been on the
disabled list. He was injured running to first base on Friday
night. … Both teams are off on Monday before Houston opens a
series against St. Louis and Cincinnati hosts Pittsburgh on