Reds continue playoff push in Houston

Jay Bruce put on a show in front of his friends and family in a win over Houston on Tuesday night.

The slugging outfielder looks for an encore performance on Wednesday when the playoff-hopeful Cincinnati Reds wrap up a three-game set with the 100-loss Astros.

A native of Beaumont, TX, Bruce drove in five runs in last night's 10-0 victory. Four of those came on a fourth-inning grand slam that made him the sixth player in Reds history to reach at least 30 homers in three straight seasons.

The 26-year-old Bruce also reached 100 RBI in a season for the first time in his career, surpassing his previous best of 99 RBI set last year.

"One hundred RBI and 30 home runs all in one swoop," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It's great for him to do it in front of his parents and all his homeboys because he's from right down the road. It was a good night, but we've got work to do."

Cincinnati won for the eighth time in its last 12 contests and holds a 4 1/2- game edge over Washington for the second wild card spot in the NL. The Reds also are 2 1/2 games out of first place in the NL Central.

Zack Cozart drove in three runs for the Reds, two on a single during the club's four-run first inning. Mike Leake took over from there and allowed just five hits over eight scoreless innings.

"It was a great game. We jumped them early, which I urge all our guys to do, especially on the road because you get the first at-bat," said Baker. "Our offense looked very good today."

Houston's did not as it dropped its fourth straight game to reach 100 losses for a third consecutive year.

Starter Jordan Lyles was hammered for nine runs -- eight earned -- on nine hits and three walks in just 3 1/3 innings.

"I actually thought (Lyles) made some good pitches. They did a good job of putting some good swings on them," Houston manager Bo Porter said.

The Reds won 10 of 15 versus the Astros last year in their final season as division rivals, going 7-2 in Houston. That included a three-game sweep at Minute Maid Park from July 23-25.

Brad Peacock will try to salvage the finale of this set for the Astros and has given up just three runs in winning consecutive starts. He is coming off a six-inning victory over Seattle last Wednesday, charged with a run on three hits and a walk.

The righty is 5-5 with a 5.27 earned run average in 16 games (12 starts) this season, including 4-2 with a 3.38 ERA in seven starts since returning from the minors.

"He's been outstanding from the time we called him back up. It's been quality start after quality start," Porter said.

The 25-year-old faces the Reds for the first time and goes up against Greg Reynolds, who makes his fifth appearance and fourth start of the year.

Reynolds made a spot start in a doubleheader for Cincinnati on July 23, then had a pair of starts in late August. He last pitched on Sept. 10 versus the Chicago Cubs as he came on in relief of Tony Cingrani, who exited with back spasms. The righty allowed four runs (3 earned) over 1 2/3 innings.

The 28-year-old, who is 1-2 with a 5.66 ERA this season, has faced the Astros just once before, a two-inning relief stint in 2011 in which he allowed a pair of runs.