Arroyo helps Reds sweep Astros

HOUSTON (AP) — Bronson Arroyo pitched 6 2-3 strong innings for his first win of the season, Joey Votto hit a two-run homer and the Cincinnati Reds held on for a 4-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Thursday night.

Arroyo (1-2) allowed six hits and two runs with seven strikeouts to bounce back from his last start, when he allowed eight runs in three-plus innings.

It was Cincinnati's fourth straight win and the third consecutive loss for Houston.

Votto's first-pitch shot to the Crawford Boxes in left field scored Drew Stubbs and pushed the lead to 3-1 in the seventh inning.

Roy Oswalt (2-3) gave up eight hits and three runs while striking out seven in seven innings in his first start since returning from Mississippi where he helped his parents clean up after their home was destroyed in a tornado on Saturday.

The loss breaks his streak of winning eight straight decisions and is his second career loss against the Reds, making him 23-2 against them.

Houston put up two runs in the bottom of the seventh before Jay Bruce added a run for Cincinnati with his homer off Tim Byrdak in the eighth inning.

Francisco Cordero allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth for his eighth save.

Arroyo didn't allow a run until Hunter Pence's solo homer to left field in the seventh. Michael Bourn hit an RBI double that to get Houston within 3-2 and chased Arroyo.

Daniel Ray Herrera got Jeff Keppinger to ground out, ending the inning, and Mike Lincoln threw a scoreless eighth.

After Carlos Lee singled with two outs in the third inning, Arroyo retired the next seven batters. He didn't allow another hit until Kaz Matsui's single in the sixth inning.

NOTES: Oswalt got his 1,500th career strikeout when he retired Arroyo to end the inning. ... Houston LHP Wandy Rodriguez will miss his scheduled start on Friday at Atlanta because of back spasms. Brett Myers will replace him and the Astros are optimistic that Rodriguez can pitch on Saturday. ... Cincinnati CF Chris Dickerson sprained his right wrist in the second inning Thursday night and will have an MRI on Friday.