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Astros pick up first victory to hand Reds first loss

Apr 7, 2011 - 9:04 PM Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Matt Downs' two-out running-scoring double in the top of the ninth inning proved to be the difference, as the Houston Astros picked up their first win of the season with a 3-2 decision over Cincinnati in the finale of a three-game set at Great American Ball Park.

Tied at 2-2, Nick Masset (0-1), who got out of trouble in the eighth, stayed on for the ninth and wasn't as fortunate. Brett Wallace started things with a single and Humberto Quintero's base hit two outs later put runners on first and second before Downs laced a run-scoring double to left.

Brandon Lyon -- charged with a blown save in the season opener at Philadelphia -- came on for the home half and retired the first two batters before Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto both singled. The right-hander then got pinch-hitter Ramon Hernandez to ground into a forceout to end the game and notch his first save of the season. Fernando Abad (1-0) earned the win for throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Hunter Pence and Wallace also knocked in a run for the Astros, who snapped a season-opening five-game slide and begin the home portion of the 2011 season on Friday against Florida.

Brett Myers gave up two runs on six hits and three walks in a 6 1/3 inning start. The right-hander struck out four.

Scott Rolen tied the game in the bottom of the seventh with a pinch-hit solo homer for Cincinnati, which dropped to 5-1 on the young season and begin a six-game road trip at Arizona on Friday.

Reds starter Sam LeCure, filling in for right-hander Homer Bailey, who is recovering from a shoulder injury, worked five effective innings, allowing two runs on three hits with two walks and striking out six.

Houston manufactured a first-inning run to grab the early lead. Jason Bourgeois led off the game with a base hit, stole second, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and crossed the plate on a groundout by Pence.

Edgar Renteria's one-out run-scoring double to straight away center in the second pulled the Reds even.

Carlos Lee started the fourth with a triple off the base of the right-field wall and scored on a groundout by Wallace, giving Houston a 2-1 lead.

Cincinnati stranded a pair of runners in the sixth, then tied it with one out in the seventh when Rolen hit a shot to left. Myers was promptly lifted after throwing 106 pitches -- 63 for strikes and was replaced by Mark Melancon, who gave up a single to Phillips. Abad took over on the hill and served up a base hit to Votto before Jonny Gomes flied out to end the inning.

Game Notes

Despite the loss, the Reds have still won 21 of their last 28 meetings with Houston...Cincinnati left 11 runners on base, while Houston stranded seven.

  • HOUSTON: 3

    Apr 7 3:30 PM

  • Matt Downs doubled to left scoring Brett Wallace. Runners on second and third with two outs and Jason Bourgeois due up.

    Astros 3, Reds 2  Top 9, 2 OutsApr 7 3:18 PM

  • Mark Melancon enters the game for the Astros with none on and one out.

    Astros 2, Reds 2  Bot 7, 1 OutApr 7 2:38 PM
  • 147
    RUWTbot Added 38 roots (Close Finish)

    Astros 2, Reds 2  Bot 7, 1 OutApr 7 2:38 PM
  • 109
    RUWTbot Added 67 roots (Close Finish)

    Astros 2, Reds 1  Top 7, 0 OutsApr 7 2:28 PM
  • 42
    RUWTbot Added 42 roots

    Astros 2, Reds 1  Mid 5Apr 7 2:01 PM

  • Chris Johnson struck out swinging. None on with two outs and Bill Hall due up.

    Astros 2, Reds 1  Top 4, 2 OutsApr 7 1:38 PM

  • Edgar Renteria doubled to center scoring Jonny Gomes. Runner on second with one out and Juan Francisco due up.

    Astros 1, Reds 1  Bot 2, 1 OutApr 7 1:06 PM

  • Hunter Pence grounded out short to first scoring Jason Bourgeois. None on with two outs and Carlos Lee due up.

    Astros 1, Reds 0  Top 1, 2 OutsApr 7 12:41 PM

  • Jason Bourgeois singled to left. Runner on first with none out and Angel Sanchez due up.

    Apr 7 12:37 PM