Cincinnati at Houston

W: B. Backe (5-3) L: M. Belisle (2-5)
S: B. Lidge (11)
HR: CIN - K. Griffey (8)   HOU - A. Everett (5)

Astros 4, Reds 3

CBS wire reports

HOUSTON -- Brandon Backe feels right at home in Houston.

Backe remained unbeaten at home as a starter and sparked a two-run fifth-inning rally, leading the Astros to a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Backe (5-3) improved to 7-0 in nine career starts -- all Houston wins -- at Minute Maid Park. Backe, who broke into the starting rotation last season, is 8-1 at home in his career.

"I love to pitch here, I guess that's obvious," said Backe, a native of nearby Galveston, Texas. "It's just the atmosphere, and of course I've got family here so there are people enjoying me being out there. My routine is better here. Before the game I'm able to go through everything. Sometimes on the road I feel rushed.

"Here, I sleep in my own house, come to the park and go through my own routine. I'm much more comfortable."

Backe's performance helped the Astros forget Monday night's 9-0 loss to the Reds.

He allowed nine hits and three runs in 6 2/3 innings. John Franco got the last out of the seventh, Dan Wheeler struck out the side in the eighth and Brad Lidge did the same in the ninth -- hitting 96 mph or higher with all three third-strike pitches -- for his 11th save in 13 chances.

"Right now, I'm feeling pretty strong," Lidge said. "Certainly the last couple of games in Milwaukee and tonight were the strongest I've felt this year. Tonight the bullpen threw well and we really needed it after last night."

Ken Griffey Jr. homered off Backe to give the Reds a 2-1 lead in fifth inning, but Backe singled and scored on a hit by Todd Self in the bottom half to tie it. The Astros took the lead later in the inning on an RBI double by Lance Berkman off Matt Belisle (2-5).

"He just couldn't get a feel for his pitches," Reds manager Dave Miley said of Belisle. "But he just gave up three runs in five innings so he gave us a chance. We couldn't get the big hit."

Adam Everett made it 4-2 with a homer in the sixth off former Astros reliever Ricky Stone. Sean Casey had an RBI double in the seventh for the Reds.

"It was just beautiful the way we won tonight," Everett said. "Whenever you can get two-out hits and come through like we did tonight, it's nice. Yesterday, things fell apart on us at the end so it was good to come back like this tonight."

Belisle retired the first 11 Astros batters and allowed only three balls out of the infield before Berkman hit a two-out single to left field in the fourth inning. Morgan Ensberg walked and Mike Lamb's roller past shortstop scored Berkman.

The run ensured the Astros wouldn't be shut out again. They lead the majors with nine shutout losses.

"I was a little off tonight," Belisle said. "I made some adjustments but I struggled with my location. Overall I pitched pretty good, just not good enough."

Belisle got his first major league hit in the second inning to load the bases with two outs. Adam Dunn walked and Jason LaRue singled to deep third base before Belisle hit a liner off Backe for a hit. Ryan Freel then flew out to end the threat.

The Reds took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when Felipe Lopez beat out an infield hit that extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Griffey then hit a first-pitch homer over the right field fence. It was Griffey's 509th career homer, two behind Mel Ott for 18th place on the all-time.


The Reds have come from behind to win 11 times this season but they're only 1-26 when trailing after seven innings. ... Reds pitchers have allowed at least one homer in 41 of their 52 games. ... Cincinnati reliever Todd Coffey hasn't allowed a run in his last five appearances, spanning seven innings. ... Casey has hit safely in eight straight games. ... The Reds are 6-17 on the road.
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.
Players of the Game

K. Griffey
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

L. Berkman
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0

Related Video

June 16, 2017
Stock Down: Cincinnati Reds (0:46)
Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, RF4110103 .316
Felipe Lopez, SS5110021 .296
Sean Casey, 1B4021001 .321
Ken Griffey Jr., CF4122002 .266
Adam Dunn, LF3000111 .240
Joe Randa, 3B4010011 .290
Rich Aurilia, 2B4000012 .192
Jason LaRue, C3010110 .238
Matt Belisle, P2010001 .143
    Ricky Stone, P0000000 .000
   a- Jacob Cruz, PH1010000 .282
    Jason Romano, PR0000000 .300
    Ryan Wagner, P0000000 .000
   b- Austin Kearns, PH1000010 .230
a-singled for Stone in the 7th
b-struck out for Wagner in the 9th
2B - Sean Casey (15, Franco), Ken Griffey Jr. (15, Backe)
HR - Ken Griffey Jr. (8, Backe)
RBI - Sean Casey (22), Ken Griffey Jr. 2 (35)
2-OUT RBI - Sean Casey (10), Ken Griffey Jr. 2 (13)
SB - Ryan Freel (13, 2nd base off Lidge/Ausmus)
PK - Jason Romano (1, Backe)
Team LOB - 8
Outfield Assists - Adam Dunn 1
Cincinnati Reds
Matt Belisle (L,2-5) 5633220 4.76
Ricky Stone 1211011 3.94
Ryan Wagner 2000000 3.54
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Belisle 70-40, Ricky Stone 21-13, Ryan Wagner 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Belisle 7-5, Ricky Stone 2-0, Ryan Wagner 6-0
Batters Faced - Matt Belisle 22, Ricky Stone 5, Ryan Wagner 6
Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF4110000 .250
Todd Self, RF4011000 .222
Craig Biggio, 2B4000012 .284
    Eric Bruntlett, 2B0000000 .160
Lance Berkman, LF3121100 .234
Morgan Ensberg, 3B3000111 .276
Mike Lamb, 1B4011001 .202
Adam Everett, SS3111003 .224
Brad Ausmus, C3010010 .250
Brandon Backe, P3110001 .273
    John Franco, P0000000 .000
    Dan Wheeler, P0000000 .000
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
2B - Lance Berkman (4, Belisle)
HR - Adam Everett (5, Stone)
RBI - Todd Self (4), Lance Berkman (6), Mike Lamb (22), Adam Everett (18)
2-OUT RBI - Lance Berkman (3), Mike Lamb (10), Adam Everett (8)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Ensberg-Biggio-Lamb
Houston Astros
Brandon Backe (W,5-3) 6.2933211 4.67
John Franco (H,4) 0.1100000 7.04
Dan Wheeler (H,4) 1000030 1.59
Brad Lidge (S,11) 1000130 3.13
WP - Brandon Backe (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Backe 103-62, John Franco 8-6, Dan Wheeler 14-10, Brad Lidge 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Backe 6-11
Batters Faced - Brandon Backe 29, John Franco 2, Dan Wheeler 3, Brad Lidge 4
Game Information
Attendance - 28535
Game Time - 2:27
Temperature - 89
Umpires - Home - Mark Wegner, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Larry Poncino