|Houston (40-58) «||0||1||0||0||0||0||3||0||x||4||9||0|
After Sunday's performance, in which he allowed one hit over seven innings for his fifth win in six outings, the team isn't worried about the left-hander anymore.
"The whole thing when he was struggling was getting him back to how he can really throw," Houston manager Brad Mills said. "It sure looks like he's turning the corner and we've said that his last few starts. Today he kind of showed he's not at that corner now and he's moving on."
Michael Bourn drove in two runs with a double in Houston's three-run seventh to help the Astros avoid a three-game sweep against Cincinnati, which began the day with a half-game lead in the NL Central over St. Louis.
Reds rookie starter Mike Leake (7-2) was perfect in the fifth and sixth innings before Johnson's homer to left field with one out in the seventh made it 2-0. The home run extended his career-best hitting streak to nine games. Jason Castro followed with a single before a pinch-hit double by Jason Michaels chased Leake.
He was replaced by Arthur Rhodes, who gave up the two-run double to Bourn.
"The whole game was, I don't know ... those zeros up there on the scoreboard don't exactly tell the whole story," Leake said. "I wasn't locating very well today, and it just feels like I wasn't able to throw the ball where I wanted to."
The Reds tied a season low with three hits and were shut out for the major league-high 12th time this season. It also was the third consecutive Sunday in which they haven't scored.
"That is strange," manager Dusty Baker said. "When we hit, we are very good. But when we don't score, we don't score at all. Wandy has been really throwing the ball well. ... He was throwing his fastball up and out of the zone, away a lot. He bounces his breaking ball, and that is what he was doing today."
Rodriguez allowed a single to Joey Votto with two outs in the first inning before retiring the next nine batters. He walked Jonny Gomes with two outs in the fourth, but struck out Chris Heisey to end the inning.
"He had command of his fastball and he was able to keep them off his fastball by changing his breaking stuff," Mills said. "It really kept them off balance. When a guy is throwing strikes like that with everything, he's pretty special."
The left-hander walked Miguel Cairo to start the fifth, then reeled off nine straight outs again before being replaced by Lyon for the eighth inning.
"Cincinnati right now is hot hitting, so I tried to make good pitches today and that was the game," Rodriguez said.
The Astros had a chance to extend their lead in the fourth when Castro hit a ball to left field with Jeff Keppinger on second base, but Gomes made a diving catch to end the inning. Gomes barely snagged the ball before it hit the ground and quickly held it up to show he'd caught it before jogging off the field smiling broadly.
Pence's solo homer to the Crawford Boxes in left field in the second inning put Houston up 1-0.
Leake yielded seven hits and four runs while walking three in 6 1/3 innings.
|The Astros' Wandy Rodriguez dominates the Reds by allowing only one hit in seven innings. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Brandon Phillips, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.284|
|Orlando Cabrera, SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||0||.258|
|Joey Votto, 1B||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.315|
|Jonny Gomes, LF||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.272|
|Chris Heisey, RF||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.286|
|Arthur Rhodes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Nick Masset, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Laynce Nix, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.261|
|Miguel Cairo, 3B||2||0||0||0||1||2||0||.300|
|Drew Stubbs, CF||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.237|
|Ryan Hanigan, C||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.314|
|Mike Leake, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.366|
|Jay Bruce, RF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.261|
|a-struck out for Masset in the 9th|
|2B - Joey Votto (17, Lindstrom)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Cabrera-Votto, Cairo-Votto|
|Mike Leake (L,7-2)||6.1||7||4||4||3||3||2||3.57|
|WP - Nick Masset (6)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mike Leake 94-53, Arthur Rhodes 11-6, Nick Masset 15-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Leake 8-6, Arthur Rhodes 1-1, Nick Masset 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Mike Leake 27, Arthur Rhodes 3, Nick Masset 5|
|Michael Bourn, CF||4||0||3||2||0||1||0||.254|
|Anderson Hernandez, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.227|
|Lance Berkman, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.236|
|Hunter Pence, RF||4||1||1||1||0||2||1||.268|
|Carlos Lee, LF||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.234|
|Matt Lindstrom, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jeff Keppinger, 2B||2||0||1||0||2||0||0||.285|
|Chris Johnson, 3B||4||1||1||1||0||1||2||.315|
|Jason Castro, C||3||1||1||0||1||1||3||.174|
|Wandy Rodriguez, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||2||.270|
|a- Jason Michaels, PH||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.248|
|Brandon Lyon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jason Bourgeois, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.216|
|a-doubled for Rodriguez in the 7th|
|2B - Michael Bourn (19, Rhodes), Carlos Lee (16, Leake), Jason Michaels (6, Leake)|
|HR - Hunter Pence (15, Leake), Chris Johnson (3, Leake)|
|RBI - Michael Bourn 2 (24), Hunter Pence (48), Chris Johnson (17)|
|SB - Michael Bourn (30, 2nd base off Leake/Hanigan), Jeff Keppinger (3, 2nd base off Masset/Hanigan)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Wandy Rodriguez (W,8-11)||7||1||0||0||2||7||0||4.80|
|Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 109-74, Brandon Lyon 11-9, Matt Lindstrom 12-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 8-6, Brandon Lyon 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 24, Brandon Lyon 4, Matt Lindstrom 4|
|Attendance - 25705|
|Game Time - 2:25|
|Temperature - 73|
|Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Mike Winters, Third Base - Brian Runge|