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Houston at Cincinnati

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Houston (70-88) «4011000107150
Cincinnati (71-87)2300010006100

Astros 7, Reds 6

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- The more Houston's Lance Berkman hits against Cincinnati, the more he likes it -- especially at Great American Ball Park.

Berkman padded his Cincinnati legacy Wednesday night, hitting two of Houston's four home runs to help set up Luke Scott's game-winning single in the eighth inning as the Astros beat the Reds 7-6.

Berkman's homers give him 41 in his career against the Reds, more than he's hit against any other team. His 17 home runs at Great American Ball Park lead all opposing players.

"When you have success at a ballpark, there's just something about it," Berkman said. "I see the ball good here, and obviously, it's a good place to hit. It's one of those things where, when you have success at a place, you start feeling favorable towards it. Obviously, it's a good park for hitting home runs."

Hunter Pence homered for the second time in two nights and Carlos Lee added a solo shot as Houston matched its season-high for homers in a game while sending the Reds to their fourth consecutive loss. The Astros have hit four home runs in a game six times this season.

Berkman added two singles for his 14th career four-hit game and first since Sept. 23, 2006, against St. Louis. His four RBI give him at least 100 for the second consecutive season and fifth time in eight seasons.

"That's important," he said. "That's my goal every year. When you reach it, you rest easy knowing that you did your job in the middle of the lineup."

The two teams combined for 15 extra-base hits -- 10 doubles and five home runs.

Lee hit a double to right off of Jared Burton (4-2) with two outs in the eight inning, and Scott followed with a single up the middle. Lee slid into foul territory to avoid Javier Valentin's tag while sweeping the plate with his left hand -- a textbook play, Astros interim manager Cecil Cooper said.

"That's the way to do it -- slide away and sneak that hand in," he said. "He's been a very, very good camper. People say he doesn't hustle, and he might not always run to first base hard, but when the game's on the line, he runs hard."

Rookie Dennis Sarfate (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings to win his first career decision. Chad Qualls pitched the ninth for his fifth save in 10 opportunities.

Berkman hit a three-run homer, his 32nd of the season, in the first inning to take over the club lead. Lee, the next batter, hit his 32nd as Houston sent nine batters to the plate and knocked Reds starter Tom Shearn out of the game in a four-run, 21-minute top of the first.

Shearn retired just two batters, allowing four hits, four runs and two walks.

Brandon Phillips cut Houston's lead in half in the bottom of the first with his 30th homer of the season, joining Alfonso Soriano as the only two second basemen in major league history to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in a season.

The homer was Phillips' first in 51 at-bats dating to Sept. 12.

"I feel like I lost five pounds," he joked. "The monkey's off my back. It hasn't really settled in yet. It's amazing."

Juan Gutierrez allowed five runs over the first two innings before finishing with three scoreless frames. He gave up seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts.

For the second straight night, Reds interim manager Pete Mackanin watched his team score five runs in the first two innings and nothing after against the opposing starter.

"The same old equation," Mackanin said. "We get to the starter early, and we can't tack on."

Pence's 17th homer of the season leading off the third inning tied the score at 5, and Berkman's solo homer with two outs in the fourth inning gave Houston a 6-5 lead.

Notes

  • SS Adam Everett returned to the Astros starting lineup Wednesday night after being away from the team while his wife gave birth on Sunday to their second child.
  • OF Adam Dunn had season-ending arthroscopic surgery Wednesday morning to clean out his right knee and to repair the torn meniscus in that knee. Dunn is expected to recover fully in 4-6 weeks.
  • The Reds reinstated INF Jerry Gil from the 60-day disabled list and transferred OF Ryan Freel to the 60-day DL on Wednesday.
 
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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Players of the Game
Houston

L. Berkman
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 2
RBI 4
Cincinnati

B. Phillips
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Houston Astros
Chris Burke, 2B6110013 .232
Adam Everett, SS2110100 .233
    Cody Ransom, SS2000010 .242
Lance Berkman, 1B5244000 .280
Carlos Lee, LF5231001 .303
Hunter Pence, CF4122112 .325
Luke Scott, RF4010132 .256
Ty Wigginton, 3B5010013 .277
Eric Munson, C1000101 .235
    J.R. Towles, C3020001 .406
Juan Gutierrez, P3000025 .000
    Mark McLemore, P0000000 .000
   a- Craig Biggio, PH0000100 .250
    Dennis Sarfate, P0000000 .000
   b- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1000001 .238
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
Totals41715759  
a-walked for McLemore in the 7th
b-lined out for Sarfate in the 9th
Batting
2B - Chris Burke (18, Shearn), Carlos Lee (42, Burton), Luke Scott (28, Guardado), Ty Wigginton (31, Saarloos)
HR - Lance Berkman 2 (33, Shearn, Saarloos), Carlos Lee (32, Shearn), Hunter Pence (17, Saarloos)
RBI - Lance Berkman 4 (100), Carlos Lee (116), Hunter Pence 2 (67)
2-OUT RBI - Lance Berkman (29), Hunter Pence (27)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Burke-Berkman, Burke-Everett-Berkman
Houston Astros
Juan Gutierrez 5755231 5.91
Mark McLemore (BS,2) 1211000 4.09
Dennis Sarfate (W,1-0) 2100030 0.00
Chad Qualls (S,5) 1000100 3.09
Pitches-Strikes - Juan Gutierrez 80-52, Mark McLemore 21-15, Dennis Sarfate 31-22, Chad Qualls 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Juan Gutierrez 5-5, Mark McLemore 1-2, Dennis Sarfate 3-0, Chad Qualls 2-1
Batters Faced - Juan Gutierrez 22, Mark McLemore 5, Dennis Sarfate 7, Chad Qualls 4
Cincinnati Reds
Norris Hopper, CF4010111 .337
Jeff Keppinger, SS5000001 .335
Joey Votto, 1B4130000 .353
Brandon Phillips, 2B4112032 .290
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B3110100 .291
Javier Valentin, C4000002 .272
Buck Coats, LF4121020 .286
Jason Ellison, RF3110101 .232
Tom Shearn, P0000000 .000
    Kirk Saarloos, P2112000 .200
    Mike Gosling, P0000000 .000
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
   a- Ryan Hanigan, PH1000001 .167
    Eddie Guardado, P0000000 .000
    Jared Burton, P0000000 .000
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
   b- Jorge Cantu, PH1000001 .257
Totals35610536  
a-flied out for Coffey in the 6th
b-hit into fielder's choice for Weathers in the 9th
Batting
2B - Joey Votto 2 (6, Gutierrez, Sarfate), Edwin Encarnacion (25, McLemore), Buck Coats 2 (3, Gutierrez, McLemore), Kirk Saarloos (1, Gutierrez)
HR - Brandon Phillips (30, Gutierrez)
RBI - Brandon Phillips 2 (94), Buck Coats (2), Kirk Saarloos 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Brandon Phillips 2 (38)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Encarnacion-B. Phillips-Votto
Cincinnati Reds
Tom Shearn 0.2444202 4.96
Kirk Saarloos 3.1422132 7.17
Mike Gosling 1100130 4.91
Todd Coffey 1200020 6.06
Eddie Guardado 1100100 7.82
Jared Burton (L,4-2) 1211010 2.51
David Weathers 1100000 3.64
Pitches-Strikes - Tom Shearn 37-18, Kirk Saarloos 52-33, Mike Gosling 25-15, Todd Coffey 22-13, Eddie Guardado 19-9, Jared Burton 8-8, David Weathers 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tom Shearn 1-1, Kirk Saarloos 4-2
Batters Faced - Tom Shearn 8, Kirk Saarloos 14, Mike Gosling 5, Todd Coffey 5, Eddie Guardado 5, Jared Burton 5, David Weathers 4
Game Information
Attendance - 13138
Game Time - 3:11
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Doug Eddings, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Chris Guccione