Reds
Astros
5 - 7 Final
  for this game

Scott's eighth-inning double lifts Astros to second straight win

May 4, 2007 - 5:12 AM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- In a battle of bullpens, the Houston Astros came out on top of the Cincinnati Reds.

Luke Scott's eighth-inning double plated two runs and lifted the Astros to a 7-5 win Thursday over the Reds.

After Cincinnati scored three runs in the top of the eighth to take a 5-4 lead, Houston stormed back in the bottom of the frame. Cincinnati's Mike Stanton relieved Todd Coffey with one out and the bases clear but could not protect the lead.

The veteran lefthander yielded back-to-back singles to Mike Lamb and pinch hitter Mark Loretta before Scott, who entered the game in the top of the inning on a double switch, plated both with a shot off the left-center field wall.

"Anytime you pinch hit or come in late, it's not easy," Scott said. "Yeah, it's very difficult. To come back like we did is a huge confidence builder. Things haven't been going our way. It shows we have a really deep team and guys are ready to play."

Weathers relieved Stanton and yielded an RBI double to Craig Biggio - his 2,957th career hit.

"That's a really big win," Biggio said. "It's something we keep talking about, picking each other up."

"There are wins that can be a little more motivational," Loretta said. "When they took the lead there was a little bit of a deflation for a while there. To come back and snatch that game, it counts as one win, but emotionally it's probably a little bigger."

The Reds entered the game with a National League-worst 4.43 bullpen ERA.

"This is just another completely disappointing performance," said Stanton, whose ERA jumped to 8.22. "After the team battled back and got us on top, there's no reason to go out and not make quality pitches. I let us down. We battled back and there's no excuses."

"When you have Stanton facing a lefthanded hitter (Lamb), you think you're OK," Cincinnati manager Jerry Narron said. "For him to face Lamb, I'll take that situation every time."

The Astros took the early lead, jumping on Reds starter Eric Milton for three runs in the first. Carlos Lee doubled home a pair and rookie Hunter Pence added an RBI single.

"Milton's pitched better," Narron said. "He's got to get out of the first inning."

Cincinnati grabbed the lead back in the eighth, when Chad Qualls replaced starter Wandy Rodriguez and proceeded to surrender three runs and the lead.

"Yeah we were disappointed," Houston manager Phil Garner said. "We picked up Qualls tonight. Those guys need that once in a while."

"I was feeling pretty good about our chances," Narron said.

Ken Griffey Jr. forged a tie when he plated Brandon Phillips with an RBI single. The former All-Star then helped give his team the lead when he stole second and moved to third on catcher Brad Ausmus' throwing error. Griffey trotted home on Jeff Conine's sacrifice fly to break the tie.

"It was encouraging the guys never gave up," Griffey said. "I'm disappointed we didn't finish it. As far as coming back, that's a good thing."

Griffey also hit a solo homer in the first inning off Rodriguez.

"I learned from that mistake," Rodriguez said.

It was Griffey's third homer of the season and 566th of his career - three behind Rafael Palmeiro for ninth place on the all-time list.

The Reds made another run at Houston in the top of the ninth with runners on first and third and one out, but closer Dan Wheeler got Griffey to bounce into a double play to end the game. Loretta, after delivering a key pinch-hit, made a fine defensive play at shortstop to ignite the double play, with Biggio's relay just beating Griffey to first base.

"The ball caught him," Griffey said of Loretta's grab.

"(Loretta) made a great play on it and gave me a perfect feed," Biggio said. "It was nice to be able to execute it and get out of here."

Qualls' eighth-inning meltdown wasted a strong start from Rodriguez. The lefthander allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings. He struck out a career-high eight and did not issue a walk. He has not earned a win in his last 17 appearances - dating back to July 2, 2006.

"Wandy was outstanding," Garner said. "I'm so pleased with what he's been doing. What's really encouraging is the string of good outings, for all good reasons."

Rodriguez was not upset about not receiving the win.

"It bothers me a little bit," he said through an interpreter. "I wanted to do my job and keep the game close. I threw a lot of curveballs tonight. Changeups too. I threw the pitches I needed to get out of the situations."

With Thursday's win, the Astros have won two in a row for the first time since April 19-20.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CINCINNATI 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 5 11 2
    HOUSTON 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 x 7 12 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CIN - ERIC MILTON, KIRK SAARLOOS (6TH), TODD COFFEY (7TH), MIKE
    STANTON (8TH), DAVID WEATHERS (8TH) AND DAVID ROSS
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ, CHAD QUALLS (8TH), DAN WHE

    May 3 10:57 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CRAIG BIGGIO SCORED LUKE SCOTT.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C BIGGIO ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 5
    HOUSTON 7 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M ENSBERG (.250, 1-FOR-3, BB, RBI)

    Reds vs. AstrosMay 3 10:41 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY LUKE SCOTT SCORED MIKE LAMB AND MARK LORETTA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, L SCOTT ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 5
    HOUSTON 6 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C BIGGIO (.250, 0-FOR-4)

    Reds vs. AstrosMay 3 10:37 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JEFF CONINE SCORED KEN GRIFFEY JR.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 5
    HOUSTON 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: A GONZALEZ (.319, 0-FOR-3)

    Reds vs. AstrosMay 3 10:14 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KEN GRIFFEY JR SCORED BRANDON PHILLIPS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, K GRIFFEY JR ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 4
    HOUSTON 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J CONINE (.275, 0-FOR-3)

    Reds vs. AstrosMay 3 10:13 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY BRANDON PHILLIPS SCORED RYAN FREEL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B PHILLIPS ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 3
    HOUSTON 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: K GRIFFEY JR (.294, 2-FOR-3, HR, RBI)

    Reds vs. AstrosMay 3 10:11 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY DAVID ROSS SCORED ADAM DUNN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D ROSS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 2
    HOUSTON 4 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: K SAARLOOS (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Reds vs. AstrosMay 3 9:49 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MORGAN ENSBERG SCORED BRAD AUSMUS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M ENSBERG ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    HOUSTON 4 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L BERKMAN (.264, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Reds vs. AstrosMay 3 9:07 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HUNTER PENCE SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, H PENCE ON FIRST, C LEE ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    HOUSTON 3 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: A EVERETT (.217, 1 HR, 6 RBI)

    Reds vs. AstrosMay 3 8:21 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED CRAIG BIGGIO AND MORGAN
    ENSBERG.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C LEE ON SECOND, L BERKMAN ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: J LANE (.238, 4 HR, 9 RBI)

    Reds vs. AstrosMay 3 8:19 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CINCINNATI 1 1 1 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CIN - ERIC MILTON
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ

    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C BIGGIO (.260, 3 HR, 14 RBI)
    M ENSBERG (.247, 2 HR, 8 RBI)
    L BERKMAN (.256, 2 HR, 13 RBI)

    Reds vs. AstrosMay 3 8:12 PM