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Cincinnati at Houston

Scoreboard
Cincinnati (29-22) «201000001460
Houston (22-30)000001000150

Reds 4, Astros 1

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Mike Leake was having trouble with his fastball, so he went to Plan B. He wouldn't say exactly what that meant, but whatever it was, it sure worked well on Friday night.

Jay Bruce homered and drove in two runs to back a solid performance by Leake, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-1 victory over the sliding Houston Astros.

"When something is not working, you've got to find something that is working and that's what I did," he said. "It's nothing in particular on a particular day, but today the fastball wasn't working so I had to go to a pitch that was."

When asked what that pitch was, the 24-year-old right-hander was coy.

"I can't divulge that information," he said with a smile.

Leake (2-5) had a season-high seven strikeouts in seven innings, yielding just one run and four hits.

"He was just throwing strikes when he needed them," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. "He would get in trouble, and he would slow down a little bit and find his tempo and his rhythm. Then after that he would go back at them again. That was big to get him his second one and hopefully he can get on a roll."

Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth for his fourth save. The Cuban left-hander has 47 strikeouts in 27 innings this season and hasn't allowed an earned run.

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Houston has dropped seven straight in its longest skid since it lost seven in a row last August.

Joey Votto hit a two-out single in the first and scored on Brandon Phillips' double off the wall in center, putting Cincinnati up 1-0. Bruce then singled in Phillips.

Votto added another run-scoring single in the third.

Houston starter J.A. Happ (4-5) allowed three runs and five hits in a season-high seven innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

"I thought I made some good pitches, but then I didn't make a few," Happ said. "I guess sometimes there are games where there is no room for error, and those are tough ones. That kind of was one tonight."

Bruce connected against Wesley Wright with two out in the ninth, hitting a drive to right for his 12th homer.

Leake retired 11 of 12 batters before Jose Altuve and Jed Lowrie hit consecutive singles to start Houston's sixth inning. Carlos Lee grounded into a double play that allowed Altuve to score.

Jordan Schafer singled in the eighth, but was out at second when Altuve bounced into a force play. Lowrie walked before Lee grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Lee pulled up while running to first base with a strained left hamstring. He hobbled off the field and Chris Johnson moved from third base to first to replace him for the ninth.

Houston manager Brad Mills said Lee won't play on Saturday, but wasn't sure if he'd be out longer than that.

Happ settled down after Votto's run-scoring single in the third, and Phillips grounded into a double play to end that inning. He allowed a single by Ryan Ludwick with one out in the fourth, but got Todd Frazier to ground into a double play.

He retired the next seven after that, with Cincinnati's next baserunner coming on a walk by Ludwick with one out in the seventh.

Lee singled in the second and Leake walked Brian Bogusevic with one out. A single by J.D. Martinez loaded the bases, but Leake escaped the jam when Chris Snyder grounded into a forceout and Happ struck out to end the inning.

"Offensively, the second inning would have been nice. The bases loaded, and we weren't able to get anything with one out," Mills said. "Then, the sixth inning when we did get a run, but we had first and third with nobody out, and I would have liked to keep that inning going."

Notes

The Astros wore the rainbow jerseys the team wore from 1975-86. Former Houston pitcher J.R. Richard, who went 107-71 in a 10-year career with the team, threw out the ceremonial first pitch and was inducted into the Astros Walk of Fame. ... Houston OF Travis Buck has a sore heel and was not available. Mills said he'd probably need a couple of days. ... These teams continue the series on Saturday when Cincinnati's Mat Latos opposes left-hander Wandy Rodriguez.

 
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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Players of the Game
Cincinnati

M. Leake
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 3
K 7
Cincinnati

J. Bruce
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Zack Cozart, SS3100110 .232
Drew Stubbs, CF4000010 .228
Joey Votto, 1B4121010 .329
Brandon Phillips, 2B4111011 .272
Jay Bruce, RF4122020 .265
Ryan Ludwick, LF3010101 .209
Todd Frazier, 3B3000002 .259
Devin Mesoraco, C3000001 .200
Mike Leake, P2000020 .333
   a- Mike Costanzo, PH1000010 .063
    Logan Ondrusek, P0000000 .000
    Aroldis Chapman, P0000000 .000
Totals3146429  
a-struck out for Leake in the 8th
Batting
2B - Brandon Phillips (7, Happ)
HR - Jay Bruce (12, Wright)
RBI - Joey Votto (30), Brandon Phillips (26), Jay Bruce 2 (34)
2-OUT RBI - Brandon Phillips (15), Jay Bruce 2 (8)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
DP - B. Phillips-Cozart-Votto, B. Phillips-Votto
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mike Leake (W,2-5) 7411370 4.95
Logan Ondrusek (H,7) 1100100 2.42
Aroldis Chapman (S,4) 1000030 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Leake 108-61, Logan Ondrusek 11-6, Aroldis Chapman 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Leake 9-4, Logan Ondrusek 2-0
Batters Faced - Mike Leake 27, Logan Ondrusek 4, Aroldis Chapman 3
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jordan Schafer, CF4010010 .262
Jose Altuve, 2B4110011 .315
Jed Lowrie, SS2010200 .286
Carlos Lee, 1B4010002 .297
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
Chris Johnson, 3B-1B4000021 .285
Brian Bogusevic, RF2000100 .221
   a- Matt Downs, PH1000010 .152
J.D. Martinez, LF3010110 .239
Chris Snyder, C3000014 .179
J.A. Happ, P2000023 .095
   b- Justin Maxwell, PH1000011 .229
    Wilton Lopez, P0000000 .000
    Marwin Gonzalez, 3B0000000 .234
Totals30150410  
a-struck out for Bogusevic in the 9th
b-struck out for Happ in the 7th
Fielding
DP - Johnson-Altuve-Lee, Lowrie-Altuve-Lee
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
J.A. Happ (L,4-5) 7533270 4.31
Wilton Lopez 1000010 2.20
Wesley Wright 1111011 3.00
Pitches-Strikes - J.A. Happ 101-66, Wilton Lopez 7-6, Wesley Wright 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.A. Happ 7-5, Wilton Lopez 2-0, Wesley Wright 2-0
Batters Faced - J.A. Happ 26, Wilton Lopez 3, Wesley Wright 4
Game Information
Attendance - 21464
Game Time - 2:26
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Jim Joyce, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - James Hoye