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Cincinnati at Houston

W: N. Masset (1-0) L: J. Valverde (0-1)
S: F. Cordero (3)
HR: CIN - R. Hernandez (1)   HOU - None

Reds 2, Astros 1

CBSSports.com wire reports

HOUSTON -- Ramon Hernandez got just enough of it to avoid a disappointing loss for the Cincinnati Reds.

Hernandez's two-run homer in the ninth inning barely cleared the fence in right field, sending the Reds to a 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night.

"I was lucky it got out," Hernandez said. "I was just trying to get a single and maybe get a run to tie the game. When I hit it, I didn't think it was out. It just took off."

Jose Valverde (0-1), who missed Thursday's game with a back strain, walked Edwin Encarnacion with one out before Hernandez hit his first homer. It was Valverde's first blown save of the year.

"Everything is fine, I am OK," Valverde said. "The guy just hit a home run. What else am I going to do? It was a fastball and I threw my best pitch to this guy, and he hit it.

"Tomorrow is a new day. I had a little bit of a back, but not too much, just a little bit."

Nick Masset (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings to get the win and Francisco Cordero got three outs for his third save in three attempts.

Roy Oswalt allowed five hits and walked three in six shutout innings for Houston. The right-hander is 23-1 with a 2.39 ERA in 29 games, 27 starts, against Cincinnati in his career.

Johnny Cueto walked six in 4 2/3 innings for the Reds. He gave up one run and two hits.

Oswalt looked shaky early, working out of a bases-loaded jam in the second with a pair of strikeouts and stranding runners at first and second in the third by getting Jay Bruce to pop up for the final out.

Cueto walked three in the fifth inning, including Lance Berkman with the bases loaded to give Houston a 1-0 lead.

"This would have been a real tough loss," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "They didn't really deserve to win it but they were winning in the ninth. We walked in that run to get behind.

"But they walked a guy in the ninth and that got them in trouble too."


The Astros announced they will recall RHP Felipe Paulino from Triple-A Round Rock to start Sunday's game. Paulino is 1-0 with a 1.75 ERA in two starts for the Express this season. A corresponding roster move will be made before the game. ... Astros 2B Kaz Matsui sat out his third straight game with a sore back. ... Hernandez had his 4,000th career at-bat in the seventh inning.

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

R. Oswalt
IP 6.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 3
K 4

R. Hernandez
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Cincinnati Reds
Willy Taveras, CF3000100 .292
Chris Dickerson, LF4010001 .278
Joey Votto, 1B4020000 .400
Brandon Phillips, 2B3000111 .214
Jay Bruce, RF4010012 .176
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B3110110 .185
Ramon Hernandez, C3112100 .192
Alex Gonzalez, SS4010013 .087
Johnny Cueto, P2000014 .000
    Mike Lincoln, P0000000 .000
   a- Darnell McDonald, PH1000000 .273
    Danny Herrera, P0000000 .000
    Nick Masset, P0000000 .000
   b- Laynce Nix, PH1000000 .286
    Francisco Cordero, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Lincoln in the 7th
b-flied out for Masset in the 9th
2B - Joey Votto (3, Hawkins), Edwin Encarnacion (1, Oswalt)
HR - Ramon Hernandez (1, Valverde)
RBI - Ramon Hernandez 2 (4)
CS - Chris Dickerson (1, 2nd base by Oswalt/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Encarnacion-Votto, B. Phillips-A. Gonzalez-Votto
Cincinnati Reds
Johnny Cueto 4.2211630 4.22
Mike Lincoln 1.1000000 17.36
Danny Herrera 0.2000100 5.40
Nick Masset (W,1-0) 1.1000000 1.80
Francisco Cordero (S,3) 1200000 0.00
WP - Johnny Cueto (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Johnny Cueto 88-46, Mike Lincoln 12-8, Danny Herrera 14-8, Nick Masset 10-5, Francisco Cordero 21-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johnny Cueto 1-9, Mike Lincoln 3-1, Danny Herrera 1-1, Francisco Cordero 2-0
Batters Faced - Johnny Cueto 21, Mike Lincoln 4, Danny Herrera 3, Nick Masset 3, Francisco Cordero 4
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF3000111 .258
Miguel Tejada, SS4020000 .368
Lance Berkman, 1B1001300 .212
Carlos Lee, LF4000014 .189
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Hunter Pence, RF3000100 .278
Geoff Blum, 3B4010002 .267
Ivan Rodriguez, C4010010 .200
Jason Smith, 2B4000001 .000
Roy Oswalt, P1100100 .000
    Geoff Geary, P0000000 .000
   a- Jason Michaels, PH0000100 .111
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
    Darin Erstad, LF0000000 .000
a-walked for Geary in the 7th
RBI - Lance Berkman (6)
2-OUT RBI - Lance Berkman (6)
CS - Michael Bourn (1, 2nd base by Masset/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Hunter Pence 1
Houston Astros
Roy Oswalt 6500340 4.26
Geoff Geary (H,1) 1000000 3.86
LaTroy Hawkins (H,1) 1100000 3.60
Jose Valverde (BS,1; L,0-1) 1122111 6.75
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Oswalt 108-75, Geoff Geary 7-6, LaTroy Hawkins 13-10, Jose Valverde 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Oswalt 5-7, Geoff Geary 1-2, LaTroy Hawkins 3-0, Jose Valverde 1-1
Batters Faced - Roy Oswalt 24, Geoff Geary 3, LaTroy Hawkins 4, Jose Valverde 5
Game Information
Attendance - 32268
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Paul Nauert