Houston at Cincinnati

W: J. Burton (1-0) L: W. Wright (3-3)
S: F. Cordero (37)
HR: HOU - K. Matsui (7), C. Lee (26), J. Keppinger (6), G. Blum (10), J. Keppinger (7)   CIN - J. Gomes (20), D. Stubbs (7)

Reds 6, Astros 5

CBSSports.com wire reports

CINCINNATI -- A game that featured seven solo home runs in the first five innings came down to an infield single, a wild pitch -- and the Cincinnati bullpen.

Joey Votto scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the seventh inning and the Reds overcame Jeff Keppinger's first career multihomer game and five Houston home runs in a 6-5 victory against the Astros on Wednesday night.

Votto led off the seventh against Wesley Wright (3-3) with an infield single and went to third on a single by Brandon Phillips. Jeff Fulchino relieved Wright with Chris Coste going in at catcher in a double switch. Fulchino bounced a pitch that Coste couldn't handle, allowing Votto to break a 5-5 tie and give the Reds their second sweep of a three-game series against Houston in Cincinnati this season.

"That's why they call baseball a funny game," Fulchino said. "That's the way it goes. I threw a slider that backed up on me. I think if you ask Coste, he blocks that nine times out of 10, but it bounced the other way."

Reds manager Dusty Baker was glad to take it.

"It doesn't matter how you get it as long as you get it," Baker said. "It feels good to win again and get back on a winning streak."

Three Reds relievers combined to retire the last 11 batters. Jared Burton (1-0) retired all five he faced for the victory. Nick Masset pitched a perfect eighth and Francisco Cordero worked the ninth for his 37th save and third in three games.

"We just got ahead of the hitters, especially in the last inning," said Cordero, who has three blown saves this season. "The bullpen's been lights out down there. I feel like I'm on a roll every time I have a save opportunity. I've got to go out there and do my job. That's why they pay me the money they pay me."

Keppinger, a former Red, had two of Houston's five solo shots -- all off Reds starter Justin Lehr -- but that wasn't enough to keep the Astros from their fourth consecutive loss.

"That was an interesting game to read between the lines," said Cincinnati's Jonny Gomes, who led off the second with his 20th home run. "It's tough to win a game with solo home runs."

Gomes, mired in a 3-for-24 slump going into the game, gave Cincinnati a 1-0 lead. Houston responded in the third with home runs by Kaz Matsui, Carlos Lee and Keppinger, each of which was followed by an out.

Matsui's was his second home run in two nights and seventh of the season, matching the career high he set with the New York Mets in 2004. Lee's was his 26th, and Keppinger's was his sixth and first in 32 at-bats since Aug 28.

Drew Stubbs led off the Reds' third with his seventh home run of the season and second in two nights, and Scott Rolen added a tying sacrifice fly.

The Reds took their second lead when Wladimir Balentien scored on Lehr's suicide-squeeze bunt in the fourth, but Geoff Blum and Keppinger came up with back-to-back home runs in the fifth. Blum's was his 10th of the season and first in 60 at-bats since Aug. 16.

"I have been lifting weights," Keppinger said. "I've had a lot of time to do it. Hitting five home runs doesn't mean much when you lose. This is a good park to hit home runs in. The ball carries and it plays small."

The Astros hit five home runs on April 8, against the Cubs.

Lehr tied a club record by allowing the five home runs. He gave up 11 hits and five runs with one walk and six strikeouts.

"Those balls were up and out over the plate," Baker said. "I don't think I've seen a team give up five solo homers and end up winning the game."

Houston manager Cecil Cooper was just as surprised.

"It's been a strange year," Cooper said. "Other than the five solo home runs, we didn't put a whole lot together. Not a lot is going right for us now."


RHP Roy Oswalt's back problems will shut him down for the rest of the season, Houston GM Ed Wade said before Wednesday's game. ... RHP Jose Valverde is expected to meet the Astros in Milwaukee after being left behind in Houston with a high fever and sore throat. ... Reds RHP Johnny Cueto will most likely miss his scheduled start Thursday against Florida after being sent home before Wednesday's game with flu-like symptoms. Cueto wasn't available for the team photo, which was shot Wednesday. LHP Matt Maloney is scheduled to start for Cueto.

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

J. Keppinger
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 2

D. Stubbs
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1

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Kazuo Matsui, 2B3111201 .252
Hunter Pence, RF5020013 .286
Carlos Lee, LF5111003 .305
Geoff Blum, 1B4111022 .258
Jeff Keppinger, 3B-SS4232000 .265
J.R. Towles, C4010030 .150
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .333
Tommy Manzella, SS3000032 .250
   a- Jason Michaels, PH1000000 .240
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   b- Edwin Maysonet, PH1010000 .302
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    Chris Coste, C1000010 .225
a-popped out for Manzella in the 8th
b-singled for Bazardo in the 6th
2B - Hunter Pence (24, Lehr)
HR - Kazuo Matsui (7, Lehr), Carlos Lee (26, Lehr), Geoff Blum (10, Lehr), Jeff Keppinger 2 (7, Lehr, Lehr)
SH - Michael Bourn (5)
RBI - Kazuo Matsui (41), Carlos Lee (96), Geoff Blum (47), Jeff Keppinger 2 (27)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Keppinger (10)
SB - Michael Bourn (57, 2nd base off Lehr/Tatum)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Manzella-Matsui-Blum
E - Yorman Bazardo (2, Misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
Yorman Bazardo 5744222 8.50
Wilton Lopez (BS,1) 1211010 10.29
Wesley Wright (L,3-3)0211000 5.60
Jeff Fulchino 2000160 3.28
WP - Jeff Fulchino (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Yorman Bazardo 87-58, Wilton Lopez 22-16, Wesley Wright 7-4, Jeff Fulchino 31-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yorman Bazardo 7-6, Wilton Lopez 2-0
Batters Faced - Yorman Bazardo 24, Wilton Lopez 5, Wesley Wright 2, Jeff Fulchino 7
Cincinnati Reds
Drew Stubbs, CF5122011 .252
Paul Janish, SS5000012 .217
Joey Votto, 1B2220200 .305
Brandon Phillips, 2B4030001 .279
Scott Rolen, 3B3011023 .307
Jonny Gomes, RF3111002 .272
    Jared Burton, P0000000 .000
   a- Juan Francisco, PH0000100 .000
    Nick Masset, P0000000 .000
    Francisco Cordero, P0000000 .000
Wladimir Balentien, LF4220012 .235
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   b- Kevin Barker, PH1000012 .333
    Ryan Hanigan, C0000000 .270
Justin Lehr, P1001000 .118
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b-struck out for Tatum in the 7th
2B - Wladimir Balentien (17, Bazardo)
HR - Drew Stubbs (7, Bazardo), Jonny Gomes (20, Bazardo)
SF - Scott Rolen (7)
SH - Craig Tatum (1), Justin Lehr (5)
RBI - Drew Stubbs 2 (13), Scott Rolen (57), Jonny Gomes (49), Justin Lehr (1)
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Justin Lehr 51155165 5.30
Pedro Viola 0.1100100 2.45
Jared Burton (W,1-0) 1.2000020 5.02
Nick Masset (H,16) 1000010 2.63
Francisco Cordero (S,37) 1000010 2.29
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Lehr 99-67, Pedro Viola 11-6, Jared Burton 18-14, Nick Masset 9-7, Francisco Cordero 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Lehr 4-4, Pedro Viola 1-0, Jared Burton 1-2, Nick Masset 1-1, Francisco Cordero 2-0
Batters Faced - Justin Lehr 26, Pedro Viola 3, Jared Burton 5, Nick Masset 3, Francisco Cordero 3
Game Information
Attendance - 10662
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Chad Fairchild, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - Tim Welke