Rookies lead Astros over RedsAug 4, 2011 - 5:49 AM
But he certainly got some Wednesday from J.D. Martinez, who was playing in his fifth major league game.
Lyles pitched seven strong innings and Martinez drove in four runs, and together the rookies led Houston to a 5-4 victory against the Cincinnati Reds in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Lyles (1-6), at 20 years old the youngest player in the major leagues, gave up three runs and six hits without walking a batter to get his first victory. Martinez went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer in the first inning and a two-run double in the seventh.
Humberto Quintero added a solo shot in the eighth to help the Astros win their second consecutive series at home. They hadn't won back-to-back series at Minute Maid Park all season prior to Wednesday.
Reds starter Dontrelle Willis was also in search of his first victory of the season, having gone winless in his first four starts. He pitched well, giving up two runs in six innings, and helped himself by swatting a go-ahead homer in the seventh.
With two outs, Lyles hung a slider and Willis crushed it to right field for a 3-2 lead. But the Reds' bullpen couldn't hold on.
Nick Masset (1-5) took the mound in the bottom of the seventh and walked leadoff batter Brian Bogusevic, who was a pinch-hitter. Jason Bourgeois then reached on a bunt single, and Jose Altuve bunted a ball that Masset failed to field cleanly, loading the bases.
"You just can't give away that many outs," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "This game isn't made for five outs. You've got to take the outs when you [can] get them."
Up stepped Martinez, who had given Houston a 2-0 lead by blasting a high pitch over the left field wall. The outfielder delivered again, doubling down the left field line to plate two and give the Astros a 4-3 lead.
"I haven't been nervous this year, but I was nervous in that dugout tonight after I came out," Lyles said. "I'm not nervous when I'm on the mound at all, but emotions were up and down."
In the eighth, Quintero gave Houston some cushion by hitting Sam LeCure's first-pitch slider to left for his second homer of the year. It was a necessary cushion.
Jay Bruce singled off Mark Melancon to begin the ninth, advanced to third on consecutive groundouts, then scored on a base hit by pinch-hitter Yonder Alonso.
But Melancon retired pinch-hitter Miguel Cairo on a fly ball to center to hand the Reds their 25th one-run loss of the season.
Aside from Willis, Cincinnati got offensive production from Todd Frazier, Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto. Frazier homered in the fifth while Phillips singled in Votto in the sixth.
But the Reds couldn't pull out the victory and fell a little further out of postseason contention. They have dropped six of 10 and are fourth in the NL Central, 7 1/2 games behind Milwaukee at 54-57.
Willis hit his ninth career homer...Votto went 3-for-4 to extend his hitting streak at Minute Maid Park to 18 games. He is a career .405 hitter (49- for-121) in 30 career appearances at the park...Reds third baseman Scott Rolen underwent arthroscopic surgery Wednesday on his injured left shoulder. He is expected to be out for an additional 4-6 weeks...The Reds at 16-25 in one-run games this season, while the Astros are 14-18.
- CINCINNATI: 4
Aug 3 10:33 PM
- Pinch-Hitter Yonder Alonso single to right scored Jay Bruce with two out. Runner on first and Sam LeCure due up.
Reds 4, Astros 5 Top 9, 2 OutsAug 3 10:31 PM
- Humberto Quintero one-out, solo Home Run (2) to left. Brian Bogusevic due up.
Reds 3, Astros 5 Bot 8, 1 OutAug 3 10:14 PM
- J.D. Martinez double to left scored Brian Bogusevic and Jason Bourgeois with none out. On the play, Jose Altuve advances to third. Runners on second and third and Carlos Lee due up.
Reds 3, Astros 4 Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 3 9:55 PM
- Drew Stubbs struck out swinging to end the inning.
Reds 3, Astros 2 Mid 7Aug 3 9:45 PM
- Brandon Phillips single to center scored Joey Votto one out. Runner on first and Jay Bruce due up.
Reds 2, Astros 2 Top 6, 1 OutAug 3 9:23 PM
- Drew Stubbs grounded out pitcher to first to end the inning.
Reds 1, Astros 2 Mid 5Aug 3 9:11 PM
- J.D. Martinez one-out, two-run Home Run (1) to left scored Jason Bourgeois. Carlos Lee due up.
Reds 0, Astros 2 Bot 1, 1 OutAug 3 8:17 PM
- CINCINNATI: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Aug 3 8:06 PM
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