Houston at Cincinnati

Scoreboard
Houston0200000  250
Cincinnati «0101000  281

Astros 2, Reds 2 (7 innings, rain)

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

CINCINNATI -- They got wet. They blew chances for a rain-shortened win. They wound up with a tied game and a makeup doubleheader.

No one had a good night.

Ken Griffey Jr. singled home a tying run in the fourth inning, and the second storm of the evening forced the Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros to settle for a 2-2, seven-inning tie Thursday night.

The game will be replayed from the start on Saturday as part of a doubleheader, the opener scheduled to begin at 5:10 p.m. ET. The statistics count, so the few players who got hits came away with better statistics.

"That's about all it's good for," Astros manager Phil Garner said.

Griffey, still weakened by a virus that sidelined him the last two days, had a pair of singles to lead an offense that wasted chances up to the end. Griffey also was involved in one of the most memorable tie games in Cincinnati -- his hometown debut in the 2000 season opener.

The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 57 minutes by a storm that dumped heavy rain and window-rattling hail for nearly an hour, leaving parts of the field submerged. Both teams then spent seven innings wasting chances to end June with a rain-shortened win.

The Reds had the final opportunity, putting runners on second and third against reliever Chad Qualls with two outs in the seventh. Lightning flashed overhead, the grounds crew crouched behind the rolled-up tarp, and raindrops started falling while Javier Valentin struck out, keeping it tied at 2.

Qualls had seen the radar, knew another storm was approaching and understood that he couldn't afford to give up a run that would have handed Cincinnati a seven-inning win.

"I knew once it started to rain, it was not going to stop," Qualls said. "It started coming down a little bit -- the drops were big. I knew if a run scored there, it was probably going to be the game."

The Reds started warming up for the eighth, but a downpour prevented the game from continuing.

The Astros ended the month on an upswing -- seven wins in the last 10 games for a 16-9 mark in June with one tie. It was their best June since 1989, when they went 18-10.

By contrast, the Reds were in another downturn, having lost four in a row heading into Thursday's game. They're 17 games under .500 and 19 games out of first place in the NL Central, both season lows.

They couldn't even pull off the win on a night when left-hander Eric Milton avoided giving up a homer.

Milton, the cornerstone of the Reds' offseason overhaul, gave one of his best performances, allowing two runs and five hits in six innings. For only the third time in 17 starts, he didn't give up a homer - he has allowed 27 in all, most in the majors.

"I was myself out there tonight," said Milton, who is 3-9 with a 7.40 ERA. "I don't know where it went to or where it's been, but it's what I need to be."

His only major mistake was a pitch over the plate to Astros starter Brandon Backe, whose two-out, bases-loaded double drove in both of Houston's runs in the second inning. Milton remained winless since May 23, but he's looked a little better his last two starts.

"I thought Milton threw really well," interim manager Jerry Narron said. "That's the best he's looked. The last couple of innings in Cleveland, then today. He had command of both sides of the plate.

"I had a chance to see him when he was with Minnesota, and I think we're going to see that."

Narron shuffled his struggling lineup, moving Adam Dunn -- the club's home run leader -- to second in the order and dropping Sean Casey to fifth. It didn't solve their biggest problem: an inability to get runners home.

Backe had another poor performance, lasting only 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander matched his career high with six walks -- he walked the bases loaded in the second, then walked Dunn to force in a run.

The Reds left the bases loaded in the second, and stranded nine runners in the first four innings.

Notes

Backe is 0-3 in his last four starts, giving up 20 runs in 18 1/3 innings. The double was the first of his career. ... The Astros' best June was in 1979, when they went 20-8. ... 3B Morgan Ensberg finished with 28 RBI in June, tied for second most in club history. Jose Cruz drove in 29 runs in June 1984. ... Ensberg also had 10 homers in the month. ... Lance Berkman went 0-for-3, ending his hitting streak at nine games. ... The Reds are 3-4 with one tie since Narron replaced the fired Dave Miley.

 
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.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Players of the Game
Houston

M. Ensberg
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Cincinnati

F. Lopez
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 

Related Video

November 25, 2014
Titans at Texans Preview (3:05)
November 17, 2014
NFL Monday QB: J.J. Watt impresses at tight end
(1:01)
November 10, 2014
NFL Monday QB: Will Mallett lead Texans to a win?
(1:05)
November 25, 2014
Bengals at Buccaneers Preview
(3:12)
Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF4000012 .284
Craig Biggio, 2B4000010 .281
Lance Berkman, 1B3000010 .274
Morgan Ensberg, 3B3120000 .280
Jason Lane, RF3000022 .232
Adam Everett, SS3110000 .238
Chris Burke, LF2010101 .237
Raul Chavez, C2000105 .184
Brandon Backe, P2012012 .250
    Chad Harville, P0000000 .000
   a- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1000000 .314
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
Totals272522612 
a-flied out for Harville in the 7th
Batting
2B - Chris Burke (7, Milton), Brandon Backe (1, Milton)
RBI - Brandon Backe 2 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Brandon Backe 2 (3)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
PB - Raul Chavez (1)
Houston Astros
Brandon Backe 3.2422650 5.29
Chad Harville 2.1200120 4.79
Chad Qualls 1200020 4.34
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Backe 81-44, Chad Harville 33-19, Chad Qualls 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Backe 1-5, Chad Harville 1-3, Chad Qualls 1-0
Batters Faced - Brandon Backe 21, Chad Harville 9, Chad Qualls 5
Cincinnati Reds
Felipe Lopez, SS3130100 .312
Adam Dunn, LF1001311 .242
Joe Randa, 3B4010026 .297
Ken Griffey Jr., CF4021012 .278
Sean Casey, 1B4000005 .314
Rich Aurilia, 2B2110200 .254
Wily Mo Pena, RF3010112 .272
Javier Valentin, C4000015 .253
Eric Milton, P2000022 .192
   a- Edwin Encarnacion, PH1000010 .000
    Matt Belisle, P0000000 .143
Totals282827923 
a-struck out for Milton in the 6th
Batting
RBI - Adam Dunn (41), Ken Griffey Jr. (51)
2-OUT RBI - Adam Dunn (11), Ken Griffey Jr. (21)
CS - Felipe Lopez (4, 2nd base by Harville/Chavez)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
E - Joe Randa (4, Misplayed grounder)
Cincinnati Reds
Eric Milton 6522250 7.40
Matt Belisle 1000010 4.38
Pitches-Strikes - Eric Milton 89-63, Matt Belisle 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Eric Milton 5-9, Matt Belisle 1-1
Batters Faced - Eric Milton 26, Matt Belisle 3
Game Information
Attendance - 19903
Game Time - 2:28
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Field Culbreth, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Larry Young, Third Base - Eric Cooper