Houston at Cincinnati

W: R. Oswalt (2-1) L: P. Wilson (0-1)
HR: HOU - J. Lane (2), J. Lane (3)   CIN - None

Astros beat Reds for 12th straight time

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

CINCINNATI -- No matter what they try, the Cincinnati Reds can't beat Roy Oswalt or his team.

Every game ends the same way: The Astros celebrate, the Reds commiserate.

Jason Lane homered twice, driving in a career-high five runs, and Oswalt improved to 13-0 against the Reds with an 11-2 victory Friday night, the Astros' biggest offensive splurge of the season.

Houston won its 12th straight game against Cincinnati, a streak that began last July 31 and has been helped mightily by Oswalt (2-1), who regularly bedazzles the Reds' free-swinging lineup.

The Reds have been outscored 91-34 during those dozen games that defy explanation.

"I have never understood it," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "I don't know why. I just enjoy it. We've played well against them lately."

No one plays better than Oswalt, who can get off his sick bed and beat the Reds.

Oswalt gave up five hits in seven innings, joining Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers in the majors to go 13-0 against an opponent. Martinez has won all of his decisions against Seattle.

"I don't really think about that when I go out there," said Oswalt, who has a 2.52 career ERA against Cincinnati. "I'll see it in the newspapers."

Lane hit a two-run homer and a three-run shot off Paul Wilson (0-1). The Astros scored more than five runs for the first time this season, a welcome outburst for a pitcher who spent the week trying to get healthy.

Oswalt also beat the Reds 5-2 last Sunday in Houston, going seven innings to complete a three-game sweep. He then came down with a virus that has made the rounds, but wasn't about to let it cost him another chance to face the Reds.

"The day before yesterday, they sent me home," Oswalt said. "I felt pretty bad."

With a scowl of concentration and a thick growth of stubble on his face, Oswalt had his way with a lineup that he regularly turns into lightweights. Ken Griffey Jr. was 0-for-3, leaving him 2-for-19 career off the right-hander. Adam Dunn struck out twice. Even Sean Casey came up hitless, falling to .163 career off Oswalt.

Austin Kearns had the Reds' only hit through the first five innings, a single. Cincinnati's hits didn't come until the game was lopsided -- Casey had a sacrifice fly in the sixth and Rich Aurilia doubled home a run in the seventh that made it 9-2.

"He's taken years off my life -- not days, years," Dunn said. "He throws every pitch the same. He's got great control. He'll throw a 95 mph fastball one pitch, the next one's a 69 mph curve. He's just good."

Wilson held the Astros without a hit until the fourth, when Craig Biggio led off with a walk. Two outs later, Lane hit a 426-foot homer into the upper deck in left field. Two innings later, he hit a three-run shot that came to rest in the lower deck in left field and finished off Wilson.

"I was terrible," Wilson said. "I made a mistake to the same guy twice."

Lane has never hit more than four homers in a season -- he had that many in 107 games last year. Four of his 15 career homers and all three this season have come against Cincinnati.

The Astros scored only seven runs while getting swept in a three-game series in New York, where cool temperatures prevented the ball from carrying. It flew easily -- for the Astros, anyway -- on a 68-degree evening in Cincinnati.

"In New York, we had a tough time scoring," Lane said. "I had a few chances with men on base and didn't do it. It was nice to drive them in today.

"As bad as we did in New York, a few of our balls got knocked down by the cold. Today was a much more pleasant day."

Biggio also doubled and scored in the sixth. He has hit safely in all nine games this season, and is one hit shy of Ted Williams' mark of 2,652 career hits, 64th all-time.

Morgan Ensberg had three of the Astros' 14 hits and drove in three runs, including a two-run double in the eighth.


  • Houston is 27-11 overall against Cincinnati since the start of the 2003 season.
  • Wilson committed the Reds' first error of the season, bouncing his throw to first on Jeff Bagwell's grounder in the first inning. The Reds' eight-game streak of perfection was the third-longest in major league history. The 1983 Pirates and 2004 Rockies went their first nine games without an error.
  • Lane's three hits matched his career high. His other multihomer game was Sept. 23, 2003 against the Giants.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Jason Lane blasts a three-run shot for his second home run off Reds pitcher Paul Wilson. (AP)
Jason Lane blasts a three-run shot for his second home run off Reds pitcher Paul Wilson. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Lane
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 2

R. Oswalt
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 2
BB 1
K 9

Related Video

April 18, 2017
MLB Power Rankings (4/18) (2:50)
Houston Astros
Adam Everett, SS5220012 .167
Craig Biggio, 2B4210112 .389
    Mike Lamb, 1B0000000 .143
Jeff Bagwell, 1B3211101 .265
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
Morgan Ensberg, 3B5233022 .367
Jason Lane, RF5335001 .342
Luke Scott, LF4000130 .261
Raul Chavez, C5022000 .375
Willy Taveras, CF5010003 .344
Roy Oswalt, P3010021 .286
   a- Chris Burke, PH-2B1000000 .214
a-grounded out for Oswalt in the 8th
2B - Adam Everett 2 (3, Weber, Weathers), Craig Biggio (6, Wilson), Jeff Bagwell (1, Wilson), Morgan Ensberg (3, Weathers), Raul Chavez (1, Wilson)
3B - Willy Taveras (1, Valentine)
HR - Jason Lane 2 (3, Wilson, Wilson)
SF - Jeff Bagwell (1)
RBI - Jeff Bagwell (5), Morgan Ensberg 3 (5), Jason Lane 5 (9), Raul Chavez 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Morgan Ensberg 2 (3), Jason Lane 2 (2), Raul Chavez 2 (2)
Team LOB - 6
E - Raul Chavez (1, Dropped fly)
Houston Astros
Roy Oswalt (W,2-1) 7522190 4.50
Russ Springer 1000010 7.36
Brad Lidge 1000030 0.00
HBP - LaRue (by Roy Oswalt)
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Oswalt 108-70, Russ Springer 9-5, Brad Lidge 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Oswalt 8-4
Batters Faced - Roy Oswalt 28, Russ Springer 3, Brad Lidge 3
Cincinnati Reds
D'Angelo Jimenez, 2B4010012 .276
Ken Griffey Jr., CF4000011 .241
Sean Casey, 1B3001010 .243
Joe Randa, 3B3000121 .406
    Kent Mercker, P0000000 .000
Adam Dunn, LF4110031 .188
Austin Kearns, RF4010021 .233
Rich Aurilia, SS4011021 .160
Jason LaRue, C2000000 .304
    Javier Valentin, C0000000 .250
Paul Wilson, P1000010 .167
    Joe Valentine, P0000000 .000
   a- Jacob Cruz, PH1110000 .250
    Ben Weber, P0000000 .000
   b- Wily Mo Pena, PH1000000 .267
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Freel, 3B0000000 .364
a-singled for Valentine in the 6th
b-grounded out for Weber in the 7th
2B - Adam Dunn (2, Oswalt), Rich Aurilia (2, Oswalt)
SF - Sean Casey (1)
RBI - Sean Casey (3), Rich Aurilia (1)
Team LOB - 5
DP - LaRue
E - Paul Wilson (1, Wild throw)
Cincinnati Reds
Paul Wilson (L,0-1) 5766152 6.35
Joe Valentine 1100020 0.00
Ben Weber 1433100 12.27
David Weathers 1222110 10.50
Kent Mercker 1000010 2.70
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Wilson 76-50, Joe Valentine 19-12, Ben Weber 23-14, David Weathers 23-13, Kent Mercker 7-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Wilson 3-7, Ben Weber 2-1, David Weathers 1-1
Batters Faced - Paul Wilson 23, Joe Valentine 4, Ben Weber 8, David Weathers 6, Kent Mercker 3
Game Information
Attendance - 31740
Game Time - 2:36
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Jim Wolf, Third Base - Randy Marsh