Astros
Reds
5 - 3 Final
  for this game

Berkman powers Astros past Reds

Apr 24, 2008 - 8:46 PM By David Harding PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Lance Berkman smacked a two-run homer Thursday, leading the Houston Astros to a 5-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

It was Berkman's 18th career home run at Great American Ball Park, the most by any visiting player, and helped the Astros win their fifth straight game.

"(Berkman) plays well here, he definitely does, he swings the bat well," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "Today that home run was huge for us to get a good start off a pitcher that's very, very good."

Berkman finished the game 3-for-3 with a walk and three RBI.

In his Astros debut, Jack Cassel (1-0) pitched five innings, allowing three runs and seven hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out one.

"Cassel did a very good job of keeping the damage down the first couple of innings," Cooper said. "I thought he pitched a little tentative, but after that he pitched well."

Berkman's two-run shot off Reds rookie pitcher Johnny Cueto (1-2) put Houston up 2-0 in the first inning.

Cincinnati battled back in the bottom half of the first as Ken Griffey Jr. hit an RBI single, plating Corey Patterson.

In the second inning, Cassel helped his own cause, singling up the middle to give Houston a 3-1 lead.

The Reds answered again in the bottom half of the frame as Scott Hatteberg doubled to center field, scoring Edwin Encarnacion to cut the deficit to 3-2. The Reds then tied the game at 3-3 when catcher Paul Bako singled to center, driving home Hatteberg.

Darin Erstad gave Houston a 4-3 lead in the fifth when he singled to center, scoring Hunter Pence. Berkman doubled to right field, plating Erstad to put Houston ahead, 5-3.

Tim Byrdak pitched two scoreless innings and Doug Brocail bridged the gap to Houston closer Jose Valverde, who pitched a perfect ninth to record his third save.

"(Byrdak) had to be the spot of the game," Cooper said. "He did a very good job at going after their left handed hitters and attacking them."

Cueto pitched seven innings, surrendering five runs and eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

The Astros improved to 11-12, and completed the two-game series sweep of the Reds to start their eight-game road trip. They will travel to St. Louis to battle the Cardinals on Friday.

A day after firing general manager Wayne Krivsky, Cincinnati fell to 9-14 before travelling to San Francisco to take on the Giants.

"We're a lot better than how we've been playing, that's the frustrating part," Cincinnati outfielder Adam Dunn said. "Everyone keeps talking about how early it is, and it's not early anymore ... so we need to turn it up."








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

    BATTERIES: HOU - JACK CASSEL, TIM BYRDAK (6TH), DOUG BROCAIL (8TH), JOSE
    VALVERDE (9TH) AND J.R. TOWLES
    CIN - JOHNNY CUETO, KENT MERCKER (8TH), FRANCISCO
    CORDERO (9TH) AND PA

    Apr 24 3:08 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED DARIN ERSTAD.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, L BERKMAN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 5
    CINCINNATI 3 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: G BLUM (.226, 0-FOR-2)

    Astros 5, Reds 3  Top 5, 0 OutsApr 24 1:51 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DARIN ERSTAD SCORED HUNTER PENCE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D ERSTAD ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 4
    CINCINNATI 3 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M TEJADA (.356, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Astros 4, Reds 3  Top 5, 0 OutsApr 24 1:47 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY PAUL BAKO SCORED SCOTT HATTEBERG.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, P BAKO ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 3
    CINCINNATI 3 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: J CUETO (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Astros 3, Reds 3  Bot 2, 0 OutsApr 24 1:11 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY SCOTT HATTEBERG SCORED EDWIN ENCARNACION.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S HATTEBERG ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 3
    CINCINNATI 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: P BAKO (.321, 1 HR, 6 RBI)

    Astros 3, Reds 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsApr 24 1:10 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JACK CASSEL SCORED J.R. TOWLES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J CASSEL ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 3
    CINCINNATI 1 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.266, 1-FOR-1)

    Astros 3, Reds 1  Top 2, 0 OutsApr 24 1:03 PM


  • NL
    AT CINCINNATI - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KEN GRIFFEY JR SCORED COREY PATTERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K GRIFFEY JR ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    CINCINNATI 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: B PHILLIPS (.262, 2 HR, 6 RBI)

    Astros 2, Reds 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 24 12:55 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: HOU - JACK CASSEL
    CIN - JOHNNY CUETO

    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: C PATTERSON (.206, 4 HR, 10 RBI)
    J HAIRSTON JR (.545, 0 HR, 3 RBI)
    K GRIFFEY JR (.256, 4 H

    Astros 2, Reds 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 24 12:47 PM