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Houston at Cincinnati

W: S. LeCure (1-0) L: W. Rodriguez (2-7)
HR: HOU - H. Pence (8)   CIN - B. Phillips (7),J. Gomes (7),D. Sutton (1)

Reds 15, Astros 6

CBSSports.com wire reports

CINCINNATI -- Drew Sutton joined in a Cincinnati Reds power surge that's about as good as it gets.

The Houston Astros? Never been worse, not even when they were the Colt .45's.

Sutton hit his first grand slam, part of an emphatic three-homer game by a hot-as-it-gets offense, and Sam LeCure went six innings to win his big-league debut, 15-6 over the historically bad Astros on Friday night.

The Reds maintained a one-game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central, winning for the 22nd time in 31 games. Cincinnati is nine games over .500 for the first time in four years.

The Reds have homered in 17 straight games, tied for the third-longest streak in club history.

"The long balls are fun, but we're getting some great situational hitting, too, and doing things like going from first to third," said Jonny Gomes, who had four hits. "It's a lot more than just homers."

The Astros fell to 16-32 for the first time in franchise history, the worst mark in the NL. Catcher Kevin Cash made his first pitching appearance in the majors, giving up three hits and a run in the eighth to save the bullpen.

"Any loss kind of just keeps piling it up a little bit," Cash said. "At the same time, you can see a big loss like this -- maybe guys come in tomorrow and flip the switch, you never know. You certainly hope to think so. We definitely know we're not playing the way we're capable of, and we need to make some adjustments."

Brandon Phillips and Gomes connected off Wandy Rodriguez (2-7), who gave up a season-high eight runs in 3 1/3 innings. Sutton had a pinch-hit grand slam for a 14-2 lead in the sixth.

Gomes also tripled home a run and singled in another. He missed a shot at the cycle in the seventh, when he singled to left field but was forced to stop at first base because there was a runner ahead of him.

LeCure, a fourth-round pick in 2005, was called up when Homer Bailey went on the disabled list this week with an inflamed pitching shoulder. The right-hander gave up six hits and two runs in six innings.

"You want the young man to get his feet wet and go deep into the ballgame," manager Dusty Baker said. "It helped that we had a high-octane offense."

An offense that's at the top of its game made it easy for him to become an instant winner. The Reds have batted around four times in the last two games. They piled up a season-high 19 hits on Friday.

LeCure got doused on the field and smacked with a plate of shaving cream after the win. The celebration continued inside.

"They made me sit down in the shower in my uniform," LeCure said. "They poured beer on me. I got a fair amount of [shampoo] in my eyes. It was pretty cool."

Phillips hit a solo shot in the first inning, extending the longest homer streak by a big league team this season. The 1956 Reds homered in 21 straight for the club record.

Phillips broke it open with a bases-loaded single in the fourth. Sutton faced reliever Tim Byrdak as a pinch-hitter in the sixth and hit his second career homer off the left-field foul pole.

"It got out of hand in a hurry," Astros manager Brad Mills said.

The foundering Astros revamped their bullpen before the game, adding an extra reliever to help them get through a setback to the rotation. Right-hander Bud Norris got a cortisone shot Friday and went on the 15-day disabled list with a sore pitching arm.

Brian Moehler moves into Norris' spot, Saturday against the Reds. The Astros called up left-handed relievers Gustavo Chacin and Wesley Wright, giving them 13 relievers to back up the hurting rotation.

By the fourth inning, Mills was breaking in the newcomers.


Houston has lost its last eight games at Great American Ball Park. ... The Astros sent INF Oswaldo Navarro to Triple-A Round Rock before the game, allowing them to add an extra reliever. ... Reds 1B Joey Votto missed his third consecutive game with a sore neck. ... The Reds have 27 homers during their 17-game power streak. ... Jason LaRue had the Reds' last pinch-hit grand slam, on Sept. 4, 2005 at Atlanta. ... The last Astros position player to pitch was OF John Cangelosi in 1995.

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. Gomes
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 1

B. Phillips
AB 6
R 2
H 3
HR 1

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Jeff Keppinger, 2B5021000 .295
Hunter Pence, RF4222111 .273
Carlos Lee, LF5021000 .205
Lance Berkman, 1B2010311 .239
Pedro Feliz, 3B5000004 .200
Tommy Manzella, SS5110022 .207
Humberto Quintero, C3120110 .250
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    Gustavo Chacin, P0000000 .000
   a- Cory Sullivan, PH1000010 .186
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .000
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .000
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   b- Geoff Blum, PH1001000 .266
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a-struck out for Chacin in the 6th
b-grounded out for Lopez in the 8th
2B - Jeff Keppinger (16, Lincoln), Carlos Lee (5, Lincoln), Humberto Quintero (4, Lincoln)
HR - Hunter Pence (8, LeCure)
SH - Wandy Rodriguez (2)
RBI - Michael Bourn (7), Jeff Keppinger (18), Hunter Pence 2 (23), Carlos Lee (20), Geoff Blum (9)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Bourn (4), Jeff Keppinger (15), Hunter Pence (11), Carlos Lee (6)
Team LOB - 10
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez (L,2-7) 3.1888252 5.37
Gustavo Chacin 1.2100210 1.29
Jeff Fulchino 0.1333000 5.60
Tim Byrdak 0.2233111 7.36
Wilton Lopez 1200010 4.24
Kevin Cash 1311000 9.00
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 86-49, Gustavo Chacin 37-18, Jeff Fulchino 15-9, Tim Byrdak 17-8, Wilton Lopez 20-14, Kevin Cash 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 3-2, Gustavo Chacin 2-2, Wilton Lopez 2-0, Kevin Cash 1-2
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 20, Gustavo Chacin 8, Jeff Fulchino 4, Tim Byrdak 5, Wilton Lopez 5, Kevin Cash 6
Cincinnati Reds
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Brandon Phillips, 2B6233024 .264
Scott Rolen, 3B4221003 .277
    Mike Lincoln, P1000000 .000
    Micah Owings, P0000000 .111
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Jay Bruce, RF4001125 .271
Drew Stubbs, CF5111033 .222
Ryan Hanigan, C3220200 .351
Sam LeCure, P3100002 .000
   a- Drew Sutton, PH-3B^SS2124000 .667
a-homered for LeCure in the 6th
2B - Miguel Cairo (2, Lopez), Scott Rolen (11, Rodriguez), Ryan Hanigan (6, Cash)
3B - Jonny Gomes (2, Rodriguez)
HR - Brandon Phillips (7, Rodriguez), Jonny Gomes (7, Rodriguez), Drew Sutton (1, Byrdak)
RBI - Ramon Hernandez (9), Brandon Phillips 3 (18), Scott Rolen (31), Jonny Gomes 4 (32), Jay Bruce (20), Drew Stubbs (24), Drew Sutton 4 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Brandon Phillips (9), Jonny Gomes (14), Jay Bruce (9), Drew Stubbs (13), Drew Sutton 4 (4)
SB - Miguel Cairo (1, 2nd base off Rodriguez/Quintero)
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Sam LeCure (W,1-0) 6622451 3.00
Mike Lincoln 1.2544120 7.50
Micah Owings 1.1100020 3.22
IBB - Berkman by Sam LeCure
WP - Mike Lincoln (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Sam LeCure 98-61, Mike Lincoln 47-28, Micah Owings 19-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sam LeCure 8-4, Mike Lincoln 3-0
Batters Faced - Sam LeCure 27, Mike Lincoln 11, Micah Owings 5
Game Information
Attendance - 30813
Game Time - 3:19
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Adrian Johnson, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Andy Fletcher