Reds 12, Astros 9

Brandon Phillips watched teammate after teammate homer in the

first five innings Saturday night and lamented his 0-for-3

start.

Cincinnati’s All-Star second baseman was able to make up for it

after his team blew a big lead and needed his help to rally for the

win.

Drew Stubbs homered and drove in four runs, Phillips added three

RBIs and the Reds outlasted Houston 12-9 to hand the Astros their

eighth straight defeat.

Joey Votto went 4 for 4 with a home run and a walk. Todd Frazier

and Ryan Ludwick also went deep for the Reds, who set a season high

for runs. Phillips doubled in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning

and added two RBIs in the eighth.

”I saw everybody getting their ball on, hitting home runs and

getting hits and I’m over here just putting my head down back in

the dugout,” Phillips said of the first few innings. ”I just

tried to keep my head up and hopefully when I got a situation to

concentrate even more so that I could help the team win. And it

happened.”

The Reds were up 8-2 after hitting three homers off starter

Wandy Rodriguez in the first two innings.

”I missed a lot of my locations,” he said. ”It’s hard to

pitch when you feel like I felt today.”

Houston closed the gap with a three-run third and went on top by

adding four in the fourth.

”That club over there, they don’t quit,” Reds manager Dusty

Baker said. ”They keep battling and fighting. They may not be

winning, but they’re still playing hard. When you come in here

you’re going to have to fight.”

Ludwick’s solo homer tied it in the fifth.

Votto hit a two-out single in the sixth before scoring on the

double by Phillips, which dropped in front of a diving Fernando

Martinez in right field and put Cincinnati up 10-9.

”I put the beginning of the game behind me and I came up for

the team,” Phillips said. ”So it turned out to be a great

day.”

The win put the NL Central-leading Reds (30-22) a season-high

eight games over .500 and extended Houston’s longest losing streak

of the year.

Baker was impressed with the way his team responded after losing

the early lead.

”You know you’re going to have to win games like that,” he

said. ”Especially if you’re going to go a long ways, you’ve got to

figure out how to win them and we did.”

Houston intentionally walked Votto to load the bases and bring

up Phillips with one out in the eighth. He hit a line-drive single

to right field to add a pair of insurance runs.

J.D. Martinez drove in three runs for Houston and Jed Lowrie had

a two-run homer in the first inning.

Rodriguez yielded nine hits and a season-high nine runs in five

innings. Fernando Rodriguez (1-6) allowed two hits and a run in the

sixth.

Sam LeCure (1-1) worked two scoreless innings for the win and

Aroldis Chapman got his fifth save.

Zack Cozart and Stubbs hit consecutive doubles to start the game

and give the Reds a 1-0 lead. Votto followed with a homer to right

field that made it 3-0.

Jose Altuve hit a one-out single before Lowrie’s ninth home run

got Houston within 3-2 in the bottom of the first.

Frazier opened the second inning with his homer to left field to

push the lead to 4-2. Ryan Hanigan walked and Cozart reached on an

error with one out. The home run by Stubbs came next to make it

7-2.

Votto singled after that before scoring on a two-out single by

Chris Heisey.

Altuve reached on an error with one out in the third before a

double by Lowrie. Altuve scored on a groundout by J.D. Martinez

before Chris Johnson drew a two-out walk. A double by Fernando

Martinez drove in two to cut Cincinnati’s lead to 8-5. The hit

bounced off the wall in left field near the yellow line and was

reviewed, but the original call was upheld.

Reds starter Mat Latos finally got out of the inning when Matt

Downs grounded out.

Latos allowed seven hits and seven runs – four earned – in a

season-low 3 1-3 innings.

Jason Castro doubled in the fourth and advanced to third on a

sacrifice bunt by Wandy Rodriguez. Jordan Schafer’s RBI single

chased Latos and got Houston within 8-6. He was replaced by J.J.

Hoover, who allowed a single by Altuve and walked Lowrie to load

the bases.

J.D. Martinez’s single sent Schafer and Altuve home and tied it

8-all. Stubbs’ throw to third was offline and Lowrie tried to

score, but was thrown out by Frazier.

Johnson’s single, which fell just in front of Heisey, scored

J.D. Martinez and gave Houston its first lead. But the Astros

didn’t stay on top for long – Ludwick’s shot to start the fifth

tied it at 9.

NOTES: Houston optioned INF Matt Downs to Triple-A Oklahoma City

after the game and recalled starting pitcher Jordan Lyles, who will

start Sunday against Bronson Arroyo. … The Astros placed OF

Travis Buck on the 15-day disabled list with right Achilles

tendinitis and called up OF Fernando Martinez from Oklahoma City.

Buck’s time on the DL is backdated to Friday. … Houston manager

Brad Mills said 1B Carlos Lee is day to day after straining his

left hamstring Friday night. Mills said he was concerned about the

injury, but the team would wait to see if Lee is better in a couple

of days.