Bruce leads Reds over Astros 6-5 in 13 innings

The Houston Astros lamented their missed chances after going 3

for 21 with runners in scoring position in a 6-5, 13-inning loss to

the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.

Jay Bruce’s two-run double in the 13th inning helped the Reds to

the victory.

”Whenever you play this many innings you can go back inning by

inning and I’m pretty sure you can find different opportunities

that you could come away with a big hit here or a big hit there and

the outcome would probably be different,” Houston manager Bo

Porter said.

Rookie base-stealing specialist Billy Hamilton of the Reds got

his first three career hits, had four steals, an RBI and scored the

go-ahead run in his first major league start.

Hamilton walked to start the 13th and stole second before

Shin-Soo Choo walked. They advanced on a wild pitch before Jorge De

Leon (0-1) intentionally walked Joey Votto with one out.

Bruce’s third double of the game bounced off the wall in center

field to send Hamilton and Choo home. Bruce, who is from nearby

Beaumont, Texas, had seven hits and 10 RBIs in the series to give

him 103 RBIs this season.

Alfredo Simon (6-4) pitched three scoreless innings for

Cincinnati. Aroldis Chapman allowed a hit and a run in the 13th,

but struck out Chris Carter to end the 5-hour, 18-minute game for

his 37th save.

Brandon Barnes hit a solo homer and Carlos Corporan drove in two

runs for Houston.

The Reds led early, but Houston tied it 4-4 with a two-run

sixth.

Hamilton, who set a professional record with 155 steals in the

minors last year, is the first player since 1920 to have four

steals in his first major league start, according to stats provided

by the Reds from the Elias Sports Bureau. He is the first Red with

four steals in a game since Felipe Lopez in May 2006, and finished

one steal shy of the team record. The 23-year-old is 9 for 9 on

stolen base attempts.

The Astros were impressed with Hamilton.

”Four stolen bases and we weren’t even close,” Houston catcher

Corporan said. ”We even pitched out and he steals on the pitcher

and the catcher. He’s one of a kind.”

Chris Carter and L.J. Hoes hit consecutive singles with one out

in the 12th, but Simon retired the next two batters to send it to

the 13th.

The Astros had a shot to win it in the 11th. Barnes singled to

start the inning and took second on a sacrifice bunt by Jonathan

Villar. Cincinnati intentionally walked Jose Altuve before a single

by Trevor Crowe.

But Altuve got caught in a rundown and was out on the play

before Marc Krauss struck out to end the inning. Porter was

particularly unhappy about Altuve’s baserunning blunder.

”That’s baserunning 101,” Porter said. ”You have the winning

run in front of you. You just stop at the next base. It’s really

that simple and I can’t quantify it any other way.”

Bruce got things going for the Reds with an RBI double to right

field to give them a 1-0 lead in the first. A sacrifice fly by Ryan

Ludwick extended the lead to 2-0.

Hamilton collected his first hit with a double with two outs in

the second inning. Hamilton scored on a single by Choo to leave

Cincinnati up 3-0.

Barnes cut the lead to 3-1 with a solo homer which bounced off

the low wall in right field to start the bottom of the third.

Hamilton hit a two-out single in the fourth and stole second. He

had made five appearances as a pinch runner and two as a defensive

replacement since his promotion on Sept. 2 before starting in

center field on Wednesday night.

A bases-loaded one-out sacrifice fly by Corporan got Houston

within 3-2 in the fourth inning.

Hamilton hit a two-out grounder down the right field line

bounced off third base for an RBI single to extend the lead to 4-2

in the sixth. He stole second base in that inning.

Pinch-hitter Hoes greeted reliever Manny Parra with an RBI

double to cut the lead to 4-3 in the sixth. Corporan followed with

a run-scoring double to tie it and end Parra’s night.

NOTES: The Reds have a day off on Thursday before opening a

series against NL-Central foe Pittsburgh on Friday with Mat Latos

scheduled to pitch against Francisco Liriano. … Dallas Keuchel is

set to pitch for the Astros when they begin a four-game series at

Cleveland on Thursday. … Votto went 0 for 4 with three walks to

snap a 23-game hitting streak at Minute Maid Park, which was the

longest by any player in the park’s history.