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Cincinnati at Houston

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Cincinnati «0200000079100
Houston000000000050

Harang K's 10 as Reds top Astros, Clemens

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Cincinnati manager Dave Miley wasn't sure what to expect from Aaron Harang on Monday. He found out in a hurry.

Skipped in his last start because of the flu, Harang tied his career high with 10 strikeouts and benefited from a three-RBI performance by Joe Randa as the Reds snapped a four-game road losing streak with a 9-0 victory over Roger Clemens and the Houston Astros.

"We didn't know what to expect out of Aaron, and to get seven innings out of him was great," Miley said. "He got fatigued after the seventh but that was solid pitching right there. He made pitches he needed to."

Clemens (3-3) made his first start since last Tuesday, when he left after five scoreless innings with a strained right groin. He allowed two runs in eight innings, giving up four hits and a walk while striking out seven.

After a single to center by Sean Casey in the third, Clemens retired the next 11 batters in a row and 16 of his last 17.

"I was blessed that my leg stayed under me today," Clemens said. "I started out slowly and tried to build up to it."

The Reds scored seven runs off three relievers in the ninth, highlighted by Ryan Freel's three-run homer and Jason LaRue's two-run single, both off Russ Springer.

The Astros were shut out for a league-leading ninth time this season.

"Nobody likes to be shut out nine times this early in the season," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "The guys are working on it. It's not from a lack of effort."

Harang (4-2) allowed five hits and walked one in seven innings.

"I felt really good the last couple of days playing long toss and throwing off the mound, so I felt I was getting my energy back," Harang said. "I went out and was aggressive and tried to throw a lot of first-pitch strikes and keep the ball down. Towards the end I got a little tired."

The Astros loaded the bases with one out in the second off Harang on a walk by Morgan Ensberg, an infield hit by Adam Everett and a single to shallow left by Brad Ausmus. But Clemens struck out and Willy Taveras hit into a force to end the threat.

After that, Harang gave up two singles and didn't allow a runner past first base.

Facing Clemens made the victory even sweeter.

"To be able to go out and throw against him is something you might only get to do once in a lifetime," Harang said. "Just to know who's on the mound chasing you, that was special. The guy's going to the Hall of Fame. Just to be able to go out and get a win, especially when we've been struggling -- we're just going to try to keep this rolling."

Clemens walked Adam Dunn with one out in the second and Randa followed with a shot into the left-field seats.

"I don't think it was that great a pitch," Clemens said. "But that's what major-league hitters do if you leave a ball up liked that."

The Astros have been shut out four times in Clemens' 11 starts this year, and have totaled just 18 runs in support of their ace. Clemens refused to complain.

"No, frustrating is when my body breaks down like it did in Chicago," Clemens said. "I just very much dislike putting my guys down 2-0. It's disappointing. I just don't want it to wear on them and it is. We're just not that good right now."

Notes

  • The Minute Maid Park roof was closed for the first time this season, but Garner didn't think it would affect play. "If you hit it, it will go," Garner said. "I think there is too much ado about that. If the wind is blowing in some places it might help."
  • In his last start, Clemens extended his streak to 26 scoreless innings on the road this season. That's the longest such streak since Doug Jones started the 1988 season with 26 scoreless innings for the Indians.
  • Casey's third-inning single extended his hitting streak to seven games.
  • Cincinnati's Felipe Lopez singled in the third inning and extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
 
Copyright 2014 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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The Astros have been shut out four times in Roger Clemens' 11 starts this season.  (AP)
The Astros have been shut out four times in Roger Clemens' 11 starts this season. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

J. Randa
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
Cincinnati

A. Harang
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 1
K 10
 
Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, 2B5113010 .318
Felipe Lopez, SS5010010 .299
Sean Casey, 1B5120000 .317
Ken Griffey Jr., CF4110002 .261
Adam Dunn, LF3211110 .244
Joe Randa, 3B4233000 .291
Austin Kearns, RF3100111 .232
Jason LaRue, C4112011 .235
Aaron Harang, P2000010 .038
   a- Jacob Cruz, PH1000010 .263
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
   b- Luis Lopez, PH1000012 .188
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
Totals379109286 
a-struck out for Harang in the 8th
b-struck out for Weathers in the 9th
Batting
HR - Ryan Freel (2, Springer), Joe Randa (5, Clemens)
RBI - Ryan Freel 3 (9), Adam Dunn (27), Joe Randa 3 (27), Jason LaRue 2 (18)
Team LOB - 3
Cincinnati Reds
Aaron Harang (W,4-2) 75001100 2.97
David Weathers (H,4) 1000000 4.76
Todd Coffey 1000010 6.43
HBP - Biggio (by Todd Coffey)
WP - Aaron Harang (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 112-72, David Weathers 10-6, Todd Coffey 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 3-7, David Weathers 2-1, Todd Coffey 2-0
Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 26, David Weathers 3, Todd Coffey 4
Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF4020003 .250
Todd Self, RF4000011 .219
    John Franco, P0000000 .000
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
Craig Biggio, 2B3000020 .291
Lance Berkman, LF4000022 .216
Mike Lamb, 1B4000011 .200
Morgan Ensberg, 3B3010101 .281
Adam Everett, SS3010011 .222
Brad Ausmus, C3010021 .248
Roger Clemens, P2000023 .273
   a- Orlando Palmeiro, PH-RF1000000 .316
Totals3105011113 
a-fouled out for Clemens in the 8th
Batting
SB - Willy Taveras (17, 2nd base off Harang/LaRue)
CS - Willy Taveras (3, 2nd base by Harang/LaRue)
Team LOB - 6
Houston Astros
Roger Clemens (L,3-3) 8422171 1.30
John Franco0333000 7.36
Russ Springer 0.1344111 8.62
Chad Qualls 0.2000000 5.55
Pitches-Strikes - Roger Clemens 110-66, John Franco 11-6, Russ Springer 18-12, Chad Qualls 5-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roger Clemens 10-7, Chad Qualls 2-0
Batters Faced - Roger Clemens 29, John Franco 3, Russ Springer 5, Chad Qualls 2
Game Information
Attendance - 42097
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Larry Poncino, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Gary Darling