|Cincinnati (21-33) «||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||4||8||1|
Harang pitched a six-hitter for his first complete game of the season, and the Reds sent Houston to its 10th consecutive loss, 4-3. The Astros' skid is one short of the team record.
Harang struck out seven and improved to 6-0 in his last seven starts against the Astros.
"A couple of years ago, I couldn't get a ball by them. They just lit me up," he said. "I don't know if it's a matter of just mixing pitches up better now, or what. You just go out there and try to execute your pitches and good things are going to happen."
Harang (6-2) didn't allow a walk, retired 14 in a row between the second and seventh innings in his ninth career complete game. He threw 105 pitches, 75 for strikes.
"That's what you want to try to do every time, throw strikes," Harang said. "You throw strikes, obviously, good things happen."
Hopper began the season on the disabled list with a bruised heel and returned on April 18. He replaced center fielder Ryan Freel, who's on the 15-day disabled list after sustaining a concussion in a collision with Hopper on Monday.
So far, Hopper is making the most of his opportunity, with six hits in the series from the leadoff spot.
"I've been waiting for a chance all year to get out there and show them what I can do," Hopper said.
"I don't ever remember it being quite this bad," Houston manager Phil Garner said. "This is getting borderline stupid, too. We stung the ball really well and got nothing for it. Guys went to the plate and just didn't get anything."
The Reds scored three runs in the first inning off Wandy Rodriguez (2-5), all after manager Jerry Narron was ejected by plate umpire Bill Welke.
Hopper led off the game with a double to left-center and Narron was thrown out two pitches later for arguing a called strike on Gonzalez.
"I'm sure he felt justified in running me," Narron said, "but I thought it was a little quick."
After Narron stormed off the field, Gonzalez singled to right to score Hopper.
The 28-year-old Hopper is already comfortable in the leadoff spot in the lineup.
"It's pretty easy," he said. "With Gonzalez, Griffey and Dunn hitting behind you, if you get on base, pretty much, you're going to score. That's all I'm trying to do, get on base for those guys."
"This has just been a pretty frustrating time for us," said Astros second baseman Craig Biggio, who committed two errors. "I have seen a few guys struggle in the past, but not as many as we have right now. We're losing games and we just need to get this monkey off our back."
|Aaron Harang is 6-0 in his last seven starts against the Astros after his first CG of the season. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Norris Hopper, CF-LF||4||2||3||0||1||1||0||.321|
|Alex Gonzalez, SS||5||1||3||2||0||2||1||.277|
|Ken Griffey Jr., RF||4||1||1||1||1||1||2||.285|
|Jeff Conine, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||0||3||.275|
|Adam Dunn, LF||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||.258|
|Dewayne Wise, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Edwin Encarnacion, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.228|
|Juan Castro, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||5||.148|
|David Ross, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.211|
|Aaron Harang, P||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.154|
|2B - Norris Hopper 2 (5, Rodriguez, Rodriguez), Alex Gonzalez (12, Borkowski), Ken Griffey Jr. (7, Rodriguez)|
|RBI - Alex Gonzalez 2 (24), Ken Griffey Jr. (31), Adam Dunn (34)|
|2-OUT RBI - Alex Gonzalez (10)|
|CS - Adam Dunn (1, 2nd base by Rodriguez/Ausmus)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|E - Juan Castro (2, Misplayed grounder)|
|Aaron Harang (W,6-2)||9||6||3||2||0||7||0||4.22|
|Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 105-75|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 11-10|
|Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 34|
|Craig Biggio, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.230|
|Morgan Ensberg, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.233|
|Lance Berkman, 1B||4||0||0||1||0||1||1||.244|
|Carlos Lee, LF||4||1||2||1||0||0||0||.313|
|Hunter Pence, CF||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.342|
|Luke Scott, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.226|
|Adam Everett, SS||4||0||2||1||0||1||0||.213|
|Brad Ausmus, C||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.235|
|a- Mike Lamb, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.271|
|Chad Qualls, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brad Lidge, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Wandy Rodriguez, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.211|
|b- Jason Lane, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.167|
|Dave Borkowski, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Orlando Palmeiro, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.158|
|Humberto Quintero, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.237|
|a-popped out for Ausmus in the 7th|
|b-struck out for Rodriguez in the 5th|
|c-lined out for Borkowski in the 7th|
|2B - Craig Biggio (15, Harang), Carlos Lee (15, Harang)|
|RBI - Lance Berkman (25), Carlos Lee (46), Adam Everett (10)|
|2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee (20)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|Outfield Assists - Hunter Pence 1|
|E - Lance Berkman (4, Missed catch of throw), Craig Biggio 2 (4, Misplayed grounder)|
|Wandy Rodriguez (L,2-5)||5||7||3||3||2||4||0||4.53|
|Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 91-58, Dave Borkowski 32-21, Chad Qualls 17-12, Brad Lidge 14-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 3-9, Dave Borkowski 3-2, Chad Qualls 1-1, Brad Lidge 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 25, Dave Borkowski 7, Chad Qualls 4, Brad Lidge 3|
|Attendance - 31904|
|Game Time - 2:31|
|Temperature - 73|
|Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Wally Bell, Third Base - Rob Drake|