Strong play from Pence wasted as Astros succumb to the Reds
HOUSTON — Jay Bruce hit a go-ahead double in the eighth inning and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Houston Astros 6-4 Friday night.
Tim Byrdak (1-1) allowed consecutive singles by Joey Votto and Jonny Gomes before giving up Bruce’s grounder that rolled just inside the right field line.
Hunter Pence had four hits, including a home run, and drove in three runs for the Astros.
Nelson Figueroa replaced Byrdak and struck out Miguel Cairo before a sacrifice fly by Drew Stubbs added a run.
Angel Sanchez singled before Lance Berkman walked with one out in the ninth inning. But closer Francisco Cordero retired the next two batters for his 27th save.
The Astros loaded the bases with one out in the eighth inning before Nick Masset struck out Pedro Feliz. Masset was replaced by Arthur Rhodes, who retired Anderson Hernandez to end the inning.
Logan Ondrusek ( 1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh.
In the sixth, Pence’s two-run homer scored Carlos Lee and tied the game at 4. Keppinger followed that shot with a double that dropped just short of the wall in left center field, but Reds starter Travis Wood retired the next three batters.
Joey Votto had a solo homer that landed in the first row in right field to make it 4-2 in the fifth inning.
Houston starter Bud Norris sailed through the first three innings, retiring nine of the first 10 batters, before he got into trouble in the fourth. Orlando Cabrera singled before consecutive walks by Votto and Jonny Gomes loaded the bases. A sacrifice fly by Bruce scored Cabrera to tie it at 1. Norris then hit Cairo with a pitch before Votto was out at home on a force out.
Ryan Hanigan hit a two-run single to give Cincinnati a 3-1 lead.
Pence drove in a run with a single in the first inning that made it 1-0. Pence got Houston within 3-2 when he beat the throw home on a sacrifice fly by Chris Johnson in the fourth inning.
Wood gave up nine hits and four runs with four strikeouts in six innings. Norris gave up four hits and four runs in six innings.