Bruce's two homers boost Reds

BY foxsports • May 28, 2009

Jay Bruce homered twice and Bronson Arroyo pitched a five-hitter Wednesday night, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 6-1 victory and a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros.

Bruce was in a 1-for-18 slump when he hit a solo shot off Felipe Paulino (1-4) in the fourth. His two-run homer off the right-hander made it 5-1 in the sixth and put the Reds in position for their first sweep of the Astros in Cincinnati since May 2004.

Bruce completed his breakout game with a run-scoring triple in the eighth off Chris Sampson. Cincinnati has won four in a row for the first time this season.

Arroyo (7-3) gave up four singles, a double and one walk in his seventh career complete game and first this season.

The last-place Astros have dropped seven straight games — their longest skid of the season — and hit a new low point at 18-27.

Houston gave up another unearned run — its ninth of the series — while completing three days of miserable baseball in a city where it had felt at home. Houston had won 11 of its last 12 games at Great American Ball Park heading into the series.

On this visit, everything went wrong.

Houston gave up eight unearned runs in an 8-5 loss in the opener, then had Roy Oswalt - 23-1 career against Cincinnati - hurt his pitching hand and blow a lead in a 6-4 defeat on Tuesday night.

This one provided a fitting finish.

The Reds hit three homers off Paulino — Jerry Hairston Jr. also had a solo shot — in six innings. The right-hander fell to 0-2 in three starts against Cincinnati this season.

Arroyo gave up a sacrifice fly to Lance Berkman in the first inning, then dug in. Houston got only two more runners to second base against Arroyo, who struck out three in an efficient outing - 92 pitches.

The Reds scored their unearned run in the third, when Willy Taveras bunted with two outs. Catcher Humberto Quintero fielded and sailed a throw into the outfield, allowing Taveras to reach third standing up. Hairston followed with a single for his second RBI.


The Astros plan to activate RHP Brandon Backe from the DL on Friday. Backe has been sidelined since March 27 by strained muscles in his left side. Manager Cecil Cooper said Backe's role is undetermined. ... Astros hitting coach Sean Berry, recovering from surgery to remove a cancerous kidney, will have a follow-up visit with the doctor on Monday and could rejoin the club then. ... Houston SS Miguel Tejada doubled in the ninth, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. ... Reds RHP Edinson Volquez threw in the bullpen without problem. Volquez, on the DL with a sore back, expects to be activated on Monday and start in St. Louis.

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