HOUSTON -- Pinch-hitter Jose Vizcaino failed to lay down a bunt. He redeemed himself by hitting a long drive off the right-field wall.
Willy Taveras led off the ninth with an infield single off Ryan Wagner (0-1), and Vizcaino, hitting for Brad Lidge, was sent up to sacrifice Taveras over to second.
Wagner fell behind 3-0 to Vizcaino, then fooled him with a pair of strikes, including an outside sinker to bring the count full.
"I was pretty angry at the time because I should have bunted that sinker," Vizcaino said. "I just wanted to do my job. I just wanted to move the runner over."
The bunt signal was taken off and Vizcaino doubled to score Taveras from first.
"I was happy when I saw it go over (right fielder Austin Kearns) head," Vizcaino said. "But I didn't think (Taveras) would score. I came into second base and I took my batting glove off and looked up and everyone was running out to the plate. I was surprised."
Taveras, who was 3-for-4, is known for his speed.
"I just took off," Taveras said. "I slowed up at second because I wanted to be sure it would fall. But then (third-base coach Doug) Mansolino signaled me to go home and I just tried to go as hard as I could."
Manager Phil Garner never doubted Mansolino would wave Taveras home.
"I knew Doug would send him, he has so much speed," Garner said. "Viz didn't get a very good pitch to bunt but he didn't get carried away trying to bunt. Then he was just trying to put the bat on the ball at the end and he knocked the snot out of it."
Lidge (1-0) pitched an inning for the win. Wagner came on for the Reds to start the ninth.
Paul Wilson shut down the Astros for five innings, then struggled as Houston tied it with three runs in the sixth.
Jeff Bagwell hit a leadoff homer, the Astros' first home run of the season, and after Morgan Ensberg singled, Jason Lane connected for a two-run shot to make it 3-all.
Wilson left after the sixth having allowed three runs and eight hits. He walked two and struck out two.
"It was a disappointing loss," Reds manager Dave Miley said. "We had opportunities. We were 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position. We left 13 guys on. We just couldn't get the hit when we needed it."
Houston starter Brandon Backe worked five innings and gave up two runs on six hits and a walk. He struck out five.
The Reds opened the scoring in the first. D'Angelo Jimenez led off with a walk and advanced to third on Ken Griffey Jr.'s double to right. He scored when Lane's throw back into the infield was wide of the cutoff.
Jason LaRue's two-out single to left drove in Rich Aurilia from second for a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.
Wilson's RBI single in the sixth scored Aurilia from third to make it3-0.
|Players of the Game|
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|D'Angelo Jimenez, 2B||4||1||0||0||1||1||3||.267|
|Ken Griffey Jr., CF||5||0||2||0||0||0||1||.375|
|Sean Casey, 1B||5||0||2||0||0||1||2||.273|
|Austin Kearns, RF||5||0||2||0||0||2||3||.222|
|Adam Dunn, LF||5||0||0||0||0||2||2||.200|
|Joe Randa, 3B||3||0||1||0||2||0||0||.412|
|Rich Aurilia, SS||5||2||2||0||0||0||6||.176|
|Jason LaRue, C||2||0||1||1||0||1||1||.417|
|Paul Wilson, P||3||0||1||1||0||0||2||.200|
|Joe Valentine, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Ryan Freel, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.667|
|Ryan Wagner, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Valentine in the 8th|
|2B - Ken Griffey Jr. (2, Backe), Joe Randa (2, Backe), Rich Aurilia (1, Backe)|
|SH - Ryan Freel (1)|
|RBI - Jason LaRue (2), Paul Wilson (1)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jason LaRue (2), Paul Wilson (1)|
|Team LOB - 13|
|DP - Casey-Aurilia|
|Ryan Wagner (L,0-1)||1||2||1||1||0||0||0||3.00|
|Pitches-Strikes - Paul Wilson 96-68, Joe Valentine 11-6, Ryan Wagner 19-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Wilson 5-10, Joe Valentine 3-0, Ryan Wagner 3-0|
|Batters Faced - Paul Wilson 27, Joe Valentine 4, Ryan Wagner 5|
|Adam Everett, SS||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.133|
|Craig Biggio, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.375|
|Jeff Bagwell, 1B||4||1||1||1||0||0||2||.231|
|Morgan Ensberg, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.286|
|Luke Scott, LF||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.214|
|Jason Lane, RF||4||1||2||2||0||1||1||.467|
|Brad Ausmus, C||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.154|
|Willy Taveras, CF||4||1||3||0||0||0||0||.600|
|Brandon Backe, P||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.000|
|a- Orlando Palmeiro, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.333|
|Brandon Duckworth, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Mike Lamb, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.500|
|John Franco, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Dan Wheeler, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chad Qualls, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brad Lidge, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Jose Vizcaino, PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||1.000|
|a-flied out for Backe in the 5th|
|b-grounded into a double play for Duckworth in the 6th|
|c-doubled for Lidge in the 9th|
|2B - Jason Lane (2, Wilson), Jose Vizcaino (1, Wagner)|
|HR - Jeff Bagwell (1, Wilson), Jason Lane (1, Wilson)|
|RBI - Jeff Bagwell (2), Jason Lane 2 (3), Jose Vizcaino (1)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|E - Jason Lane (1, Wild throw)|
|Brad Lidge (W,1-0)||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||0.00|
|IBB - Randa by Dan Wheeler, Randa by Brad Lidge|
|HBP - LaRue (by Brandon Duckworth), LaRue (by Chad Qualls)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Backe 81-48, Brandon Duckworth 23-13, John Franco 5-4, Dan Wheeler 17-8, Chad Qualls 14-6, Brad Lidge 22-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Backe 6-4, John Franco 1-0, Chad Qualls 2-1, Brad Lidge 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Brandon Backe 22, Brandon Duckworth 6, John Franco 2, Dan Wheeler 4, Chad Qualls 4, Brad Lidge 5|
|Attendance - 34502|
|Game Time - 2:55|
|Temperature - 74|
|Umpires - Home - Ed Rapuano, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Bob Davidson|