Reds
Astros
0 - 5 Final
  for this game

Wolf strong as Astros blank Reds

Sep 25, 2008 - 4:56 AM By Ted Dunnam PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Lance Berkman homered and Randy Wolf pitched well into the seventh inning as the Houston Astros kept their fading wild-card playoff hopes alive with a 5-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday.

Wolf (12-12) allowed eight hits with seven strikeouts and two walks in 6 2/3 innings. The lefthander improved to 6-2 in 12 starts since being acquired from the Padres on July 22.

"Randy's done a good job for us," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "He's had only two outings where he's not been up to par.

"Tonight, his command was a little bit off, but he made pitches when he had to."

Rookie Joey Votto, Paul Janish and Corey Patterson each had two hits for the Reds, who left 16 runners on base and failed to score despite banging out 10 hits.

Humberto Quintero drove in a pair of runs for Houston, which moved to within 3 1/2 games of the New York Mets (87-71) and Milwaukee (87-71) in the National League wild-card race.

The Astros would eliminated with a loss and a win by either the Mets or Brewers on Thursday.

"It's the same as it's been the last several weeks for us," Berkman said. "Every game is important. We just have to focus on that game. That's about all we can do."

The Astros gave Wolf all the support he would need in the first. Kazuo Matsui singled and Michael Bourn walked. Two batters later, Berkman hit Ramon Ramirez's (1-1) first pitch to left-center for his 29th home run.

Houston added some insurance in the eighth as Hunter Pence drew a bases-loaded walk off Josh Roenicke, and Quintero delivered a two-run single for a 5-0 cushion.

Cincinnati had two good scoring opportunities, but Wolf wiggled out of both jams. Jeff Keppinger singled and Votto doubled with one out in the fifth, but Wolf then retired Edwin Encarnacion and Jolbert Cabrera to escape trouble.

"This was definitely a tough one," Wolf said. "I felt a couple of times I got two quick outs, and all of a sudden it was crunch time, but I was lucky enough to get out of those jams."

Rookie Jay Bruce doubled to lead off the seventh, but Wolf retired Keppinger and Votto before giving way to Geoff Geary, who got the final out of the frame.

LaTroy Hawkins allowed a hit in the eighth and Doug Brocail finished off the shutout.

Reds manager Dusty Baker said the game represented one of the few times Cincinnati has failed to produce in losing for only the third time in 11 games.

"We had a lot of opportunities to score runs," Baker said. "That's the first game in a while where we haven't been able to push across some runs. (Wolf) managed to work his way out of trouble several times."

Ramirez allowed two run and four hits in five innings.

"The first inning I wasn't hitting spots," Ramirez said. "After that the location was better. The changeup was a high, hard changeup to Berkman."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CINCINNATI 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 0
    HOUSTON 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 x 5 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CIN - RAMON RAMIREZ, JEREMY AFFELDT (6TH), MIKE LINCOLN (7TH), DANNY
    HERRERA (7TH), JOSH ROENICKE (8TH), BILL BRAY (8TH) AND RYAN
    HANIGAN
    HOU - RANDY WOLF, GEOFF G

    Sep 24 11:09 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HUMBERTO QUINTERO SCORED LANCE BERKMAN AND GEOFF
    BLUM.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, H QUINTERO ON FIRST, H PENCE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0
    HOUSTON 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L HAWKINS (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Reds 0, Astros 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsSep 24 10:57 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO HUNTER PENCE SCORED MIGUEL TEJADA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H PENCE ON FIRST, G BLUM ON SECOND, L
    BERKMAN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0
    HOUSTON 3 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: T WIGGINTON (.286, 1-FOR-3)

    Reds 0, Astros 3  Bot 8, 0 OutsSep 24 10:52 PM
  • 15
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Reds 0, Astros 2  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 24 9:06 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY LANCE BERKMAN (29) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF RAMON RAMIREZ SCORED KAZ MATSUI.
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0, HOUSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: G BLUM (.235, 14 HR, 52 RBI)

    Reds 0, Astros 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 24 8:24 PM
  • 10
    roots
    DDrake Added 10 roots

    Reds vs. AstrosSep 24 6:01 PM