Reds
Astros
4 - 3 Final
  for this game

Harang, Reds extend Astros' skid to 10 games

May 31, 2007 - 4:09 AM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- The Houston Astros are closing in on a dubious franchise record.

Aaron Harang pitched his first complete game of the season and Alex Gonzalez continued his hot hitting to carry the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-3 victory over the Astros, who have lost 10 straight games.

The Astros have not lost 10 games in a row since August 1995, when they set a club mark by dropping 11 straight decisions.

Harang (6-2) allowed single runs in the first, seventh and eighth innings to Houston, which has been outscored, 72-20, during its skid.

"Harang was outstanding. We had some chances there in the middle innings," said Reds manager Jerry Narron, who was ejected in the first inning for arguing balls and strikes. "We didn't capitalize on them. He's given us good outings, it seems like, every time out.

"He's the No. 1 guy and that's what you're looking for. It's nice to see us play good defense, because that's something we expected from the beginning of the season."

The 29-year-old righthander was charged with three runs - two earned - and six hits. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter. Harang, who threw 105 pitches, has beaten the Astros six straight times.

"A couple years ago, I couldn't get a ball by 'em," Harang said of his recent success against the Astros. "They just lit me up. I don't know what it is. I don't know if it's just a matter of mixing pitches up a little better or what. You just try to go out there and execute your pitches and good things are going to happen."

The Reds made Harang's job easier by scoring three runs in their first at-bat against Astros lefthander Wandy Rodriguez.

Norris Hopper, who had three hits and reached base four times, led off with a double and scored on a single by Gonzalez. Ken Griffey Jr. followed with an RBI double for a 2-0 lead and eventually scored on Adam Dunn's single that made it 3-0.

"It's always nice to get an early advantage," Harang said. "You don't have to go out and press so much and keep it scoreless.

Gonzalez finished 3-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to eight games, during which he is batting .412 (14-of-34).

The Astros got a run back in the bottom of the first when Carlos Lee doubled home Morgan Ensberg, who had singled off Harang.

Rodriguez (2-5) settled into a groove after the troublesome start, tossing four scoreless innings before he was removed in favor of reliever Dave Borkowski.

"I started off pretty rough, but I really fought hard the rest of the way to keep the game close," Rodriguez said. "I had to give us a chance to at least come back and tie the game. In the first inning, I made a few bad pitches, but I came back, made the adjustments that I needed to make."

The lefthander was charged with three runs and seven hits. He struck out four, walked two and threw 91 pitches in his five innings.

"Wandy got in a bit of a hole, but he picked himself right up and did a nice job with the rest of his game," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "He kept us in it and that is all you can ask for."

Cincinnati added a lead off Borkowski in the sixth. Hopper drew a two-out walk and scored his second run on a double by Gonzalez to widen the advantage to 4-1.

"Hop's a guy who puts the bat on the ball and he's got the ability to beat out some infield hits," Narron said. "It's great to see someone step in and do the job for us. I'm happy for the guy, he's put in a lot of time in the minor leagues. He's getting a chance to play and he's making the most of it."

The Astros threatened in the seventh against Harang, helped by an error. Lee led off with a single and moved to third when rookie Hunter Pence reached on second baseman Juan Castro's throwing error.

After Luke Scott popped out, Adam Everett plated Lee with a single to center to half the deficit, 4-2. Harang averted further damage by inducing pinch hitters Mike Lamb and Orlando Palmeiro to pop out.

Houston got within 4-3 in the eighth when Craig Biggio led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice fly by Ensberg and scored on Lance Berkman's infield groundout.

"This has just been a pretty frustrating time for us. I have seen a few guys struggle in the past, but not as many as we have right now and that is frustrating," Biggio said. "We're losing games and we just need to get this monkey off our back and get a W. It's frustrating and I don't think we have seen these times in a long time."








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

    BATTERIES: CIN - AARON HARANG AND DAVID ROSS
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ, DAVE BORKOWSKI (6TH), CHAD
    QUALLS (8TH), BRAD LIDGE (9TH) AND BRAD AUSMUS, HUMBERTO
    QUINTERO (8TH)

    HOME R

    May 30 10:36 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Reds vs. AstrosMay 30 10:24 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED CRAIG BIGGIO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 4
    HOUSTON 3 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.315, 2-FOR-3, RBI)

    Reds vs. AstrosMay 30 10:23 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ADAM EVERETT SCORED CARLOS LEE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A EVERETT ON FIRST, H PENCE ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 4
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: B AUSMUS (.235, 0-FOR-2)

    Reds vs. AstrosMay 30 10:04 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALEX GONZALEZ SCORED NORRIS HOPPER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, 0 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 4
    HOUSTON 1 END TOP, 6TH

    Reds vs. AstrosMay 30 9:45 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED MORGAN ENSBERG.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C LEE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 3
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.355, 4 HR, 18 RBI)

    Reds vs. AstrosMay 30 8:28 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CIN - AARON HARANG
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ

    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C BIGGIO (.230, 3 HR, 16 RBI)
    M ENSBERG (.232, 5 HR, 14 RBI)
    L BERKMAN (.250, 5 HR, 24 RBI)

    Reds vs. AstrosMay 30 8:25 PM