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Cincinnati at Houston

Scoreboard
Cincinnati (20-17)0001002003100
Houston (14-23) «021000001451

Astros 4, Reds 3

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- At the plate in the ninth inning with the game tied, Hunter Pence knew he had to find a way to help the Astros beat the Cincinnati Reds and end a four-game skid.

Pence came through, hitting a tiebreaking double to help the Astros avoided a series sweep with a 4-3 win over the Reds on Wednesday.

Mike Leake (3-2) walked J.R. Towles with one out in the ninth before Pence's full-count hit landed in the corner of right field and sent Towles home.

"The last couple of games have been pretty rough," Pence said of the first two games of the series where Houston was outscored 13-4. "We kind of came to a conclusion that ... we had to go out there and have fun and stay enthusiastic and just go as hard as we can as a team. We pitched well, played defense and found a way to get a win."

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The Astros led 3-1 before the Reds tied it with consecutive homers by Chris Heisey and Drew Stubbs in the seventh inning.

Michael Bourn gave the Astros an early lead with a two-run single in the second inning and Houston's offense was helped by drawing a season-high nine walks.

"We fought to get back, but it is very difficult to win when you give up nine walks," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Three of their four runs were walked."

Pence also had a nice diving catch for the first out in the seventh inning to aid in the victory.

"Everything that he does every day is all out and [he does] everything that he can do to help this ball club win," Houston manager Brad Mills said of Pence.

Wandy Rodriguez tied a season high by allowing 10 hits and gave up three runs with four strikeouts in seven innings. He was replaced by Wilton Lopez, who pitched a perfect eighth before Mark Melancon (3-1) in the ninth.

Mills has been impressed with the work of Melancon, who has been filling in at closer with Brandon Lyon on the disabled list. He has a 1.45 ERA this season.

"He developed into the pitcher that we knew he was capable of being," Mills said.

Pence doubled with two outs in the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. Ondrusek intentionally walked Brett Wallace before walking Chris Johnson to load the bases, but a pop fly by Matt Downs ended the inning.

Nick Masset pitched a scoreless eighth for Cincinnati.

Heisey's pinch-hit homer off Rodriguez bounced off the inside of the pole in left field and got Cincinnati within 3-2 in the seventh inning. Stubbs followed with his shot to right field that tied at 3-all.

Edgar Renteria reached on an error by third baseman Johnson after the second homer and before a single by Brandon Phillips left runners at the corners with two outs. Jonny Gomes grounded into a force out to end the inning with the game tied.

Sam LeCure pitched two scoreless innings after starter Edinson Volquez left before Logan Ondrusek took over for the seventh inning.

Volquez gave up three hits and three runs with five walks in four innings, his shortest outing of the season.

"I've got to find a way to throw strikes," Volquez said. "My breaking ball and my changeup were good today, but I didn't have my fastball."

Joey Votto singled in the sixth inning before Rodriguez struck out Phillips. Jonny Gomez singled but Rodriguez retired the next two batters to get out of that inning.

Cincinnati's first run came when Votto tripled and scored on a groundout by Brandon Phillips with no outs in the fourth inning to make it 3-1. Ramon Hernandez singled with two outs but Rodriguez struck out Jay Bruce to escape the inning.

Houston added a run in the third inning when Wallace scored on a sacrifice fly by Downs. Volquez walked Pence before he was out on a force out by Wallace. Johnson followed with a double to left field to send Wallace to third before Downs' sacrifice.

Volquez walked three straight with one out in the second before retiring Rodriguez to set up Bourn's two-out, two-RBI single.

Phillips robbed Johnson of a hit for the second time in the series when he made a leaping, midair catch for the first out in the second inning. On Monday, Phillips made a nifty diving catch that ended in a belly flop.

Notes

  • Janish was back in the lineup Wednesday after missing the previous four games with a sprained right ankle.
  • Houston OF Jason Michaels, who is on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, could be activated on Friday when Houston opens a series with the Mets.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Hunter Pence receives a grand welcome party after he drives in the winning run in the ninth inning. (AP)
Hunter Pence receives a grand welcome party after he drives in the winning run in the ninth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

D. Stubbs
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Houston

M. Bourn
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Drew Stubbs, CF5121000 .271
Edgar Renteria, SS5000002 .262
    Mike Leake, P0000000 .231
Joey Votto, 1B4120001 .349
Brandon Phillips, 2B4011011 .313
Jonny Gomes, LF4010012 .194
    Logan Ondrusek, P0000000 .000
    Nick Masset, P0000000 .000
    Miguel Cairo, 3B0000000 .290
Ramon Hernandez, C4020000 .307
Jay Bruce, RF4000014 .242
Paul Janish, 3B-SS4000000 .269
Edinson Volquez, P1000010 .000
   a- Chris Valaika, PH1010000 .313
    Sam LeCure, P0000000 .200
   b- Chris Heisey, PH-LF2111000 .245
Totals38310304  
a-singled for Volquez in the 5th
b-homered for LeCure in the 7th
Batting
3B - Joey Votto (2, Rodriguez)
HR - Drew Stubbs (7, Rodriguez), Chris Heisey (3, Rodriguez)
RBI - Drew Stubbs (20), Brandon Phillips (19), Chris Heisey (14)
SB - Drew Stubbs (12, 2nd base off Rodriguez/Towles)
Team LOB - 8
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Edinson Volquez 4333530 5.74
Sam LeCure 2000120 3.62
Logan Ondrusek 1100210 2.49
Nick Masset 1000010 4.57
Mike Leake (L,3-2) 0.1111100 5.80
IBB - Wallace by Logan Ondrusek
Pitches-Strikes - Edinson Volquez 88-47, Sam LeCure 28-16, Logan Ondrusek 24-9, Nick Masset 10-8, Mike Leake 14-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edinson Volquez 4-5, Sam LeCure 2-2, Nick Masset 1-1, Mike Leake 1-0
Batters Faced - Edinson Volquez 20, Sam LeCure 7, Logan Ondrusek 6, Nick Masset 3, Mike Leake 3
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Bourn, CF5022010 .261
J.R. Towles, C3100203 .271
Hunter Pence, RF4021111 .307
Brett Wallace, 1B3100112 .328
Chris Johnson, 3B3010110 .185
Matt Downs, 2B2101113 .256
Brian Bogusevic, LF2100211 .273
Clint Barmes, SS3000111 .194
Wandy Rodriguez, P3000004 .176
    Wilton Lopez, P0000000 .000
   a- Joe Inglett, PH1000000 .222
    Mark Melancon, P0000000 .000
Totals2945497  
a-flied out for Lopez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Michael Bourn (10, Volquez), Hunter Pence 2 (12, Ondrusek, Leake), Chris Johnson (6, Volquez)
SF - Matt Downs (1)
RBI - Michael Bourn 2 (9), Hunter Pence (31), Matt Downs (7)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Bourn 2 (2)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
E - Chris Johnson (6, Throwing)
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Wandy Rodriguez 71033042 3.98
Wilton Lopez 1000000 4.00
Mark Melancon (W,3-1) 1000000 1.45
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 114-68, Wilton Lopez 6-5, Mark Melancon 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 11-7, Wilton Lopez 3-0, Mark Melancon 3-0
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 32, Wilton Lopez 3, Mark Melancon 3
Game Information
Attendance - 21008
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Brian Runge, Third Base - Tim McClelland