HOUSTON – Jordan Lyles pitched seven strong innings and pinch-hitter Justin Maxwell had a two-run homer to lead the Houston Astros to a 5-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, snapping a season-worst eight-game skid.
Zack Cozart hit a two-run homer off Lyles in the third inning, but the Reds couldn't get anything else going against the 21 year old.
He allowed five hits and struck out three in his longest start of the year. It's the first win of the season for Lyles (1-1) and his first since last Aug. 20.
He has made five starts for Houston, but spent most of the season in Triple-A. Brett Myers pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 13th save.
The Astros trailed by one in the fifth inning before an RBI single by Marwin Gonzalez and a sacrifice fly by Jordan Schafer made it 3-2.
Maxwell's homer to the Crawford Boxes in left field came in the seventh inning and chased Reds starter Bronson Arroyo (2-4). It was his major league-leading third pinch-hit homer this year and extended Houston's lead to 5-2.
Arroyo yielded a season-high five earned runs on eight hits in 6 1-3 innings to remain winless since May 7.
Todd Frazier doubled to start the eighth inning and a single by Cozart left Frazier at third. Joey Votto's sacrifice fly with one out got Cincinnati to 5-3. Schafer had to sprint to make the catch on that play right at the wall in center field.
An error on that play allowed Cozart to advance to third, but Brandon Phillips grounded out to end the threat.
Chris Johnson walked with one out before a single by Brett Wallace left runners at the corners for Houston in the second inning. Johnson scored on a sacrifice fly by Jason Castro to make it 1-0.
The Reds didn't get a hit until Arroyo's single with two outs in the third. Cozart's homer to left field came next to put Cincinnati up 2-1.
Lyles got back on track after that, and the Reds didn't threaten again until the sixth inning. Drew Stubbs singled with one out before Phillips drew a two out walk. But Lyles retired Jay Bruce to end the inning.
Wallace collected his second single in the fifth inning before a single by Castro sent him to third. Gonzalez's single to center field scored Wallace to tie it at 2.
A sacrifice bunt by Lyles advanced the runners to second and third and Houston took the 3-2 lead when Castro scored on the sacrifice fly by Schafer.
Phillips put on a defensive show in the fourth inning with two nifty plays. The first came when he snagged a grounder by J.D. Martinez and twirled around to make the throw to first base. He then robbed Johnson of a hit when he stretched out for a diving catch to end the inning.
NOTES: Houston placed 1B Carlos Lee on the 15-day disabled list because of a left hamstring strain and recalled Wallace from Triple-A Oklahoma City before Sunday's game. It's just the second time in his career that the 35-year-old Lee has been on the disabled list. He was injured running to first base on Friday night. ... Both teams are off on Monday before Houston opens a series against St. Louis and Cincinnati hosts Pittsburgh on Tuesday.