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Houston (55-59) «1040100017131
Cincinnati (52-64)0000001214131

Astros' Oswalt, Pence add to reeling Reds' woes

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Give Roy Oswalt a lead against any opponent and the Houston Astros feel pretty good.

Give it to him against Cincinnati and the game's usually over.

Hunter Pence hit a three-run homer to give the Astros an early advantage, and Oswalt locked down the Reds in a 7-4 victory Thursday night that made him 21-1 in his career against them.

"That's the way we always feel about Roy," said first baseman Lance Berkman, who had a pair of doubles among his three hits. "He's been our ace for a while. It's always a good feeling when he's pitching, especially against Cincinnati. He's had success against them. The numbers say that."

Carlos Lee went 3-for-3 and drove in two runs and Miguel Tejada also had three hits while Oswalt was shutting down the Reds over seven innings, his longest outing in three starts since coming off the disabled list on July 28.

Oswalt (9-8), who has won each of his last six starts against Cincinnati, escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first inning and didn't allow a run until the seventh. He gave up nine hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

"He had a nice outing," Houston manager Cecil Cooper said. "I thought about letting him go deeper, but the seventh was a little stressful."

The Reds have lost three straight and six of seven.

"We had some opportunities," manager Dusty Baker said. "We had quite few chances."

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the first when Tejada doubled with one out and scored on Lee's two-out single to left.

Kaz Matsui led off the third with another single and, after moving up on Berkman's single, scored on Lee's grounder through the hole into left field. Pence followed by driving Josh Fogg's 2-0 pitch into the seats in left-center for his 15th homer of the season.

"That three-run homer by Pence was the difference in the game," Baker said. "It's tough to keep getting behind like that, especially when the guy over there is a pretty tough pitcher. It's tough to play catch-up consistently, and when he gets ahead like that, he can relax and throw whatever he wants at any time in the count."

The Astros made it 6-0 in the fifth when Berkman hit a leadoff double and Lee walked, ending Fogg's night. Pence pushed Berkman to third with a fielder's choice grounder, and Ty Wigginton hit a sacrifice fly that center fielder Corey Patterson appeared to save from going over the fence with a leaping catch.

Fogg (2-4) allowed eight hits and six runs with in four innings.

The Reds loaded the bases against Oswalt with two outs in the first, but Oswalt struck out Edwin Encarnacion on three pitches -- a foul tip and two called strikes.

"I felt pretty good," the right-hander said. "I got out of the first inning and cruised after that. I threw a lot of pitches in the first, but after we scored a few runs, it seemed like they started swinging early in the count and giving up at-bats."

The Reds broke up Oswalt's shutout in the seventh on pinch-hitter Jolbert Cabrera's two-out walk and singles by Jeff Keppinger and Joey Votto. Encarnacion added his 21st homer, a two-run shot to left-center off left-handed reliever Wesley Wright in the eighth.

Tejada scored on Wigginton's bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the ninth. Brandon Phillips tripled with two outs and scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the inning.

Notes

  • Reds RF Jay Bruce led off the sixth with a double to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, one short of the season-high streak the rookie put together July 9-23.
  • Cincinnati CF Jerry Hairston Jr., who has one pinch-hit appearance since Friday after aggravating a hamstring injury that left him on the disabled list for the second half of July, ran the bases at full speed before Thursday's game. "If it was up to me, I'd be in there, but once I'm back, I want to be back for the duration," Hairston said.
  • Houston CF Michael Bourn started after missing the last 10 starts with a sprained right ankle.
 
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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Roy Oswalt displays his immense concentration, improving his record against the Reds to 21-1.  (AP)
Roy Oswalt displays his immense concentration, improving his record against the Reds to 21-1. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

R. Oswalt
IP 7.0
H 9
ER 1
BB 2
K 6
Cincinnati

E. Encarnacion
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Houston Astros
Kazuo Matsui, 2B5110003 .280
Miguel Tejada, SS5230002 .282
Lance Berkman, 1B5230002 .335
Carlos Lee, LF3132200 .309
Hunter Pence, RF5113016 .273
Ty Wigginton, 3B3012010 .278
Michael Bourn, CF5000004 .229
Brad Ausmus, C3000101 .235
Roy Oswalt, P3000001 .186
   a- Mark Loretta, PH1010000 .279
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Totals38713732  
a-singled for Oswalt in the 8th
Batting
2B - Miguel Tejada (23, Fogg), Lance Berkman 2 (35, Fogg, Weathers), Carlos Lee (26, Affeldt), Ty Wigginton (18, Fogg)
HR - Hunter Pence (15, Fogg)
SF - Ty Wigginton 2 (3)
RBI - Carlos Lee 2 (97), Hunter Pence 3 (57), Ty Wigginton 2 (30)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee (53)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Tejada-Matsui-Berkman, Tejada-Matsui-Berkman
E - Lance Berkman (4, Missed catch of throw)
Houston Astros
Roy Oswalt (W,9-8) 7911260 4.56
Wesley Wright 0.2122111 4.73
LaTroy Hawkins (H,2) 0.1100100 5.40
Jose Valverde 1211100 4.47
WP - Jose Valverde (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Oswalt 91-62, Wesley Wright 17-8, LaTroy Hawkins 17-9, Jose Valverde 31-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Oswalt 9-4
Batters Faced - Roy Oswalt 30, Wesley Wright 4, LaTroy Hawkins 3, Jose Valverde 6
Cincinnati Reds
Jeff Keppinger, SS5010023 .267
Joey Votto, 1B5031000 .281
Jay Bruce, RF5010014 .274
Brandon Phillips, 2B4220101 .274
Adam Dunn, LF4010123 .238
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B4122124 .248
Corey Patterson, CF5010003 .191
Paul Bako, C3010002 .218
   a- David Ross, PH-C0000100 .229
Josh Fogg, P1000001 .118
    Gary Majewski, P0000000 .000
   b- Andy Phillips, PH1000000 .156
    Jeremy Affeldt, P0000000 .000
   c- Jolbert Cabrera, PH0100100 .364
    Bill Bray, P0000000 .000
   d- Javier Valentin, PH1010000 .253
    Bronson Arroyo, PR0000000 .220
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
Totals38413357  
a-walked for Bako in the 8th
b-grounded out for Majewski in the 5th
c-walked for Affeldt in the 7th
d-singled for Bray in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jay Bruce (12, Oswalt), Paul Bako (8, Oswalt)
3B - Brandon Phillips (7, Valverde)
HR - Edwin Encarnacion (21, Wright)
RBI - Joey Votto (53), Edwin Encarnacion 2 (46)
2-OUT RBI - Joey Votto (21)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - B. Phillips-Keppinger-Votto
E - Jay Bruce (5, Dropped fly)
Cincinnati Reds
Josh Fogg (L,2-4) 4866111 7.98
Gary Majewski 1000000 3.45
Jeremy Affeldt 2200000 3.64
Bill Bray 1100100 2.92
David Weathers 1211110 3.49
IBB - Lee by David Weathers
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Fogg 88-54, Gary Majewski 2-8, Jeremy Affeldt 28-19, Bill Bray 19-11, David Weathers 20-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Fogg 3-9, Gary Majewski 2-1, Jeremy Affeldt 4-1, Bill Bray 3-0, David Weathers 1-1
Batters Faced - Josh Fogg 22, Gary Majewski 3, Jeremy Affeldt 7, Bill Bray 5, David Weathers 6
Game Information
Attendance - 27378
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Ed Rapuano, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Joe West