Cincinnati at Houston

W: E. Volquez (17-6) L: W. Rodriguez (8-7)
S: F. Cordero (34)
HR: CIN - None   HOU - K. Matsui (6)

Reds 2, Astros 1 wire reports

HOUSTON -- Joey Votto knew Edinson Volquez was pitching well by what he heard.

Volquez earned rave reviews from opposing batters, pitched 7 1/3 strong innings to help the Cincinnati Reds beat Houston 2-1 and push the Astros to the brink of elimination Tuesday.

With the Mets' win over Chicago, Houston fell 4½ games behind New York with five games to go. A loss and a Mets win Wednesday would eliminate the Astros from the playoffs.

"We are disappointed that we let a golden opportunity slide tonight," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said.

Volquez (17-6) won in his fifth attempt to get his 17th victory. He had three no-decisions and a loss since winning Aug. 29, against San Francisco. He allowed one run, struck out nine and scattered six hits in the longest outing of his career. He walked one.

"Volquez was fantastic," Votto said. "I've never heard so many rave reviews at first base. The runners stopped and said he had the best stuff they'd seen.

"He was pretty electric. You don't see that many guys look that foolish on pitches the way he was making them look and you're talking about good hitters."

Manager Dusty Baker agreed.

"He pitched lights out," Baker said. "He focused big-time and had his rhythm going. He didn't throw it out of the zone like he had been doing lately."

Volquez credited not throwing a bullpen session between starts.

"I felt good," he said. "My slider worked good tonight and my changeup was good.. I think it was a really good game tonight. The ball was coming out of my fingers easy and hitting 96 and 97."

The Astros were impressed.

"He throws 98 miles an hour with a nasty changeup and a great slider," Miguel Tejada said. "I mean that guy pitches like Cy Young. You face a guy like Volquez, you've got to make the extra (things) because hit by hit you're not going to beat him. He's so tough he can strike out the next three guys."

Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his 34th save in 40 tries. He got Ty Wiggington to hit into a line drive double play with the tying run on second.

Wandy Rodriguez (8-7) gave up two unearned runs in five inning and six hits. He struck out seven and walked two.

The Reds scored in the first when Votto's looping fly to left was misplayed by Ty Wigginton for a three-base error. That drove in Jeff Keppinger, who had singled.

Jolbert Cabrera then drove in Votto with a single to make it 2-0.

Kazuo Matsui led off the first with a home run to left. It was his sixth of the season.

In the seventh inning, umpires used the instant replay to verify a hit by Votto was not a home run.

Replays appeared to show the ball hit the top of the right-field fence, bounced into an empty seat and rebounded back on the field. But officials ruled it stayed in play for a single.


It was the ninth time in his career Matsui has led off the game with a home run. It was the third time this season, the last coming Aug. 8 at Cincinnati. ... Volquez recorded his 200th strikeout of the season in the second inning. He now has 206. Volquez had pitched seven innings 10 times this season. The win marked the first time a Reds starter has reached 17 victories since Pete Schourek went 18-7 in 1995. ... Reliever Chris Sampson left the game in the seventh inning with right lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow. He is day-to-day. The replay timeout was the second instant replay call at Minute Maid Park. The first was when Hunter Pence's double was confirmed against Pittsburgh Sept. 9.

Copyright 2017 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

E. Volquez
IP 7.1
H 6
ER 1
BB 1
K 9

K. Matsui
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1

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Cincinnati Reds
Jerry Hairston Jr., CF5010010 .329
    Corey Patterson, CF0000000 .203
Jeff Keppinger, 2B5130001 .267
Joey Votto, 1B4120011 .289
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B2000203 .255
Jay Bruce, RF4000035 .257
Jolbert Cabrera, LF3021100 .255
Ryan Hanigan, C4000004 .267
Paul Janish, SS4000012 .178
Edinson Volquez, P3000021 .098
    Bill Bray, P0000000 .000
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
   a- Javier Valentin, PH1000000 .246
    Francisco Cordero, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Weathers in the 9th
RBI - Jolbert Cabrera (12)
2-OUT RBI - Jolbert Cabrera (3)
Team LOB - 9
Outfield Assists - Jolbert Cabrera 1
DP - Hanigan-Janish-Votto, Janish-Keppinger
Cincinnati Reds
Edinson Volquez (W,17-6) 7.1611191 3.21
Bill Bray (H,9) 0.1000000 2.78
David Weathers (H,19) 0.1000100 3.16
Francisco Cordero (S,34) 1100010 3.33
IBB - Berkman by Edinson Volquez
HBP - Ausmus (by Edinson Volquez)
Pitches-Strikes - Edinson Volquez 98-62, Bill Bray 3-1, David Weathers 9-4, Francisco Cordero 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edinson Volquez 4-7, David Weathers 1-0
Batters Faced - Edinson Volquez 28, Bill Bray 1, David Weathers 2, Francisco Cordero 3
Houston Astros
Kazuo Matsui, 2B3121000 .291
Michael Bourn, CF4000012 .224
Miguel Tejada, SS3020101 .286
Lance Berkman, 1B3000123 .314
Geoff Blum, 3B4010013 .235
    Reggie Abercrombie, PR0000000 .296
Hunter Pence, RF4000031 .269
Ty Wigginton, LF4010011 .286
Brad Ausmus, C2000011 .214
Wandy Rodriguez, P1000001 .103
   a- Darin Erstad, PH1000011 .276
    Chris Sampson, P0000000 .136
    Fernando Nieve, P0000000 .000
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
   b- David Newhan, PH1010000 .250
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Rodriguez in the 5th
b-singled for Hawkins in the 8th
2B - Miguel Tejada (37, Volquez), Ty Wigginton (22, Volquez)
HR - Kazuo Matsui (6, Volquez)
SH - Kazuo Matsui (7)
RBI - Kazuo Matsui (30)
SB - Michael Bourn (41, 2nd base off Volquez/Hanigan), Reggie Abercrombie (4, 2nd base off Cordero/Hanigan)
CS - Brad Ausmus (2, 2nd base by Volquez/Hanigan)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Tejada-Matsui-Berkman
E - Ty Wigginton (7, Dropped fly)
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez (L,8-7) 5620270 3.59
Chris Sampson 1.2200010 4.22
Fernando Nieve 0.1000000 8.38
LaTroy Hawkins 1000100 3.97
Jose Valverde 1000000 3.38
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 99-67, Chris Sampson 17-14, Fernando Nieve 5-3, LaTroy Hawkins 8-4, Jose Valverde 13-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 4-4, Chris Sampson 2-2, Jose Valverde 2-1
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 23, Chris Sampson 7, Fernando Nieve 1, LaTroy Hawkins 4, Jose Valverde 3
Game Information
Attendance - 27561
Game Time - 3:02
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Paul Emmel, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - Jerry Meals, Third Base - Gary Darling