HOUSTON – Wandy Rodriguez allowed one hit in seven innings, Hunter Pence and Chris Johnson homered and the Houston Astros beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-0 on Sunday.
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.
Rodriguez (8-11) struck out seven for his fifth win in his last six starts. Brandon Lyon gave up one hit in the eighth and Matt Lindstrom did the same in the ninth to complete the shutout.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NOTES: Cincinnati 3B Scott Rolen, who has missed the last eight games with a strained right hamstring, thinks he could be ready to return Monday. Reds manager Dusty Baker isn't so sure. "I've just learned over the years that if a guy tells me tomorrow, I think the day after tomorrow," Baker said. "If he's not 100 percent then ... I don't want to force it. When I get him back I want him back and not in and out, hopefully." ... The Astros got RHP Roy Oswalt a replacement of the trophy he won as MVP of the 2005 NLCS after the original award was destroyed when a tornado hit his parents' house in Mississippi in April. The award sat in a large box near his locker Sunday and he said he plans to send it to his parents. In what has become a daily occurrence, Oswalt talked about the possibility of being traded. When asked if he'd be disappointed if he isn't dealt by Saturday's non-waiver deadline, he responded: "I don't know what I'd feel. I've been pretty numb pretty much the last two weeks."