Brandon Phillips doubled, singled and scored twice off the pitcher who had the Reds' number until Friday night, then added a bases-loaded single off the bullpen for a 5-4 victory over the Houston Astros.
With their eighth victory in nine games, the Reds moved into first place in the NL Central, a half-game ahead of the Astros. Cincinnati (16-7) also matched its club record for most victories in April, with two chances left to top it.
This one will be remembered for who lost.
Oswalt was the only pitcher in major league history to go 15-0 against a team, an unblemished stretch that included 17 starts and two relief appearances scattered over three ballparks -- two in Cincinnati, one in Houston.
What's more, Oswalt had won his last seven starts against the Reds, who knew they'd need a few breaks to finally beat him.
They got them.
"Eventually, it's going to come to an end, if you play long enough," said Oswalt (4-1), who gave up eight hits and three walks in six innings. "I didn't really have a breaking pitch the whole night. I had to pitch with the fastball, and I didn't really get it where I wanted to, either. So it could have been easily a lot worse."
Oswalt gave up runs on an opposite-field single, an infield single and a sacrifice fly, and got topped by a starter coming off the worst performance of his career. Left-hander Brandon Claussen (2-2) gave up a career-high nine runs -- including four homers in one inning -- in an 11-0 loss in Milwaukee on Saturday.
This time, Claussen gave up two runs in 5 1/3 innings, including Preston Wilson's solo homer, giving the Reds a chance to end's Oswalt's run.
"I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't know about it," Claussen said. "It's all everybody talked about. You'd have to be on another world to not know about it. That's something nobody's ever done."
Phillips, the NL's most recent Player of the Week, was again the catalyst, going 3-for-4 in the breakthrough win. He scored the first two runs off Oswalt, and his two-run single off Chad Qualls made it 5-2 in the seventh inning.
Phillips, acquired in a trade with Cleveland on April 7, didn't know that Oswalt was 15-0 against the Reds until Ken Griffey Jr. told him about it right before the game.
"We just wanted to try and really get him today -- not that they weren't trying to get him the other times," Phillips said. "I was talking to Griffey about it and we were playing around, and I said, 'Let's go out and break it tonight. Let's just have some fun.'"
Cincinnati pressed on without Griffey, who was eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Friday. Griffey, bothered by an inflamed tendon behind his right knee, hasn't fully recovered from the nagging injury.
Not that he would have been much help against Oswalt -- he's only 4-for-25 in his career without a homer off the right-hander.
Instead, a player who had never faced Oswalt led the Reds to victory over their biggest nemesis. Phillips doubled to left and came around on Jason LaRue's soft, opposite-field single for a 1-0 lead in the second inning -- Claussen's first career lead when facing the Astros. In all of his three previous starts against Houston, the Reds were shut out.
Claussen doubled his good fortune by driving in Phillips with an infield single in the fourth, his first RBI since June 28, 2003. Austin Kearns added a sacrifice fly in the fifth, when the Reds sensed they had the chance to break a streak that still amazed after it ended.
"That's pretty good," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "He can start another five-year run if he wants to. That's pretty incredible. I don't know how to explain that."
|It takes 20 tries, but Cincinnati gets the better of Roy Oswalt, who allows three runs in six innings. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Craig Biggio, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.307|
|Willy Taveras, CF||5||1||2||0||0||0||1||.301|
|Lance Berkman, 1B||4||1||1||2||1||0||1||.353|
|Morgan Ensberg, 3B||4||1||1||0||1||0||1||.333|
|Preston Wilson, LF||4||1||2||1||1||1||1||.226|
|Jason Lane, RF||2||0||0||0||2||0||2||.227|
|Chris Burke, SS||4||0||2||1||0||1||1||.448|
|Brad Ausmus, C||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.352|
|Roy Oswalt, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||3||.125|
|Mike Gallo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chad Qualls, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Orlando Palmeiro, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.067|
|Russ Springer, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Qualls in the 8th|
|2B - Willy Taveras (3, Weathers), Morgan Ensberg (6, Coffey)|
|HR - Lance Berkman (9, Weathers), Preston Wilson (5, Claussen)|
|SH - Roy Oswalt 2 (4)|
|RBI - Lance Berkman 2 (26), Preston Wilson (11), Chris Burke (7)|
|2-OUT RBI - Chris Burke (3)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|Roy Oswalt (L,4-1)||6||8||3||3||3||4||0||2.76|
|WP - Roy Oswalt (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Roy Oswalt 111-71, Mike Gallo 10-8, Chad Qualls 18-13, Russ Springer 26-14|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Oswalt 7-6, Russ Springer 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Roy Oswalt 28, Mike Gallo 2, Chad Qualls 5, Russ Springer 5|
|Ryan Freel, CF||4||0||1||0||1||1||1||.261|
|Felipe Lopez, SS||3||0||0||0||2||2||2||.280|
|Adam Dunn, LF||3||1||1||0||2||1||0||.263|
|David Weathers, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Rich Aurilia, 3B||5||2||3||0||0||0||4||.303|
|Scott Hatteberg, 1B||4||0||3||0||0||0||2||.327|
|Austin Kearns, RF||3||0||0||1||0||2||5||.264|
|Brandon Phillips, 2B||4||2||3||2||0||0||1||.356|
|Jason LaRue, C||4||0||1||1||0||0||3||.167|
|Brandon Claussen, P||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||.000|
|Rick White, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Cody Ross, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.467|
|Todd Coffey, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Quinton McCracken, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.143|
|a-struck out for White in the 6th|
|b-grounded out for Coffey in the 8th|
|2B - Brandon Phillips (6, Oswalt)|
|SF - Austin Kearns (1)|
|SH - Brandon Claussen (2)|
|RBI - Austin Kearns (18), Brandon Phillips 2 (20), Jason LaRue (1), Brandon Claussen (1)|
|2-OUT RBI - Brandon Phillips 2 (11)|
|SB - Felipe Lopez 2 (9, 2nd base off Oswalt/Ausmus, 2nd base off Springer/Ausmus), Brandon Phillips (2, 2nd base off Oswalt/Ausmus)|
|CS - Ryan Freel (4, 2nd base by Oswalt/Ausmus)|
|Team LOB - 11|
|Outfield Assists - Ryan Freel 1|
|DP - F. Lopez-B. Phillips-Hatteberg, F. Lopez-B. Phillips-Hatteberg|
|E - Brandon Phillips (2, missed catch)|
|Brandon Claussen (W,2-2)||5.1||6||2||2||5||2||1||6.04|
|Rick White (H,1)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||4.76|
|Todd Coffey (H,7)||2||1||0||0||1||1||0||0.64|
|David Weathers (S,7)||1||2||2||2||0||0||1||4.09|
|HBP - Biggio (by Brandon Claussen)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Claussen 97-55, Rick White 6-4, Todd Coffey 34-20, David Weathers 15-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Claussen 10-2, Rick White 2-0, Todd Coffey 3-2|
|Batters Faced - Brandon Claussen 26, Rick White 2, Todd Coffey 8, David Weathers 5|
|Attendance - 32089|
|Game Time - 2:58|
|Temperature - 70|
|Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Gerry Davis|