CINCINNATI – Jay Bruce pulled a double just inside first base, completing Cincinnati's three-run rally off closer Brandon Lyon in the ninth inning for a 3-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Wednesday afternoon.
Lyon (3-2) came on to try to finish off a one-hitter, but failed to retire any of the five batters he faced while blowing a save for the fourth time in eight chances.
Singles by Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips tied it. Bruce then pulled his double down the line, setting off a celebration in the infield. After falling below .500 for the first time in nearly a year, Cincinnati had rallied to get back to break-even at 15-15.
Francisco Cordero (2-0) pitched the ninth for the win.
Lyon's meltdown spoiled an impressive starting debut by rookie Aneury Rodriguez, who allowed only one hit and one walk over five innings. The bullpen held the Reds without another hit until Lyon got into the game.
The 12,340 fans bundled in blankets, trying to stay warm on a cloudy, 44-degree afternoon.
It was Rodriguez's day until the Reds' last at-bat. The pitcher, claimed from Tampa Bay in the Rule 5 draft, started games in the Dominican League over the winter but won a spot on the Astros' staff as a reliever. He made his first nine appearances out of the bullpen, never going more then two innings or 36 pitches.
Manager Brad Mills moved struggling Nelson Figueroa to the bullpen last week and promoted Rodriguez to the rotation. His starting debut exceeded expectations.
Rodriguez allowed only Chris Valaika's triple in the third that eluded Hunter Pence on the warning track in right field. Rodriguez struck out three and threw 49 of 83 pitches for strikes.
The Astros played their second game without left fielder Carlos Lee, sidelined by bruised ribs from a collision with a teammate. Jason Bourgeois was a perfect fill-in again, driving home a run with a single off Travis Wood. Bourgeois has started the last four games, going 9 for 17 with three doubles and four steals.
Wood gave up five hits over six innings and struck out seven, a much better showing than in his last few starts. The left-hander had failed to make it out of the fourth inning in two of his last three games.
Houston's Brett Wallace went 0 for 4, ending his career-best hitting streak at 11 games.
NOTES: The teams will play Thursday afternoon, making up a game rained out Monday night. ... It was the first of five straight day games for the Reds, who play a weekend series in Chicago. ... The Reds activated OF Fred Lewis and optioned OF Jeremy Hermida to Triple-A Louisville. Lewis has been on the DL since the start of the season with strained muscles in his right side. Hermida was 2 for 18 after his April 18 call-up. ... With his RBI single in the ninth, Votto has reached base safely in the first 30 games — four shy of Dave Collins' club record from 1981.