Strong play from Pence wasted as Astros suc­cumb to the Reds

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS -

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.

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