Houston, TX – Jay Bruce hit a three-run home run to help the Cincinnati Reds open a three-game set against the Houston Astros with a 9-3 win.
Zack Cozart hit a two-run home run while Brandon Phillips added three hits and a run scored for the Reds, who have won their past four games.
Mike Leake (7-8) got the win for Cincinnati as he gave up just two runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts over six innings.
"They made it a little tough on me," Leake said. "I was kind of missing just off and they were being patient. It was a good plan on their part."
Fernando Martinez and Matt Dominguez each hit a solo home run for the Astros, who lost 22 games in August. Fernando Abad (0-2) gave up six runs on nine hits in just 4 1/3 innings.
The Reds struck in the third inning to take the lead as Dioner Navarro doubled to start the inning and, two batters later, Cozart belted a shot for his 15th of the year for a 2-0 lead.
Martinez led off the fourth with his third homer of the year and Dominguez followed suit with his first career round-tripper to tie the game.
Cincinnati, though, took over in the fifth. Cozart led off with a double and scored on a Chris Heisey single. Two batters later, Ryan Ludwick singled and Bruce followed with his 28th homer of the year for a 6-2 advantage.
Phillips singled home a run in the seventh while Miguel Cairo scored a run in the eighth with a single and Heisey hit into a fielder's choice that scored another run for a 9-2 lead.
The Astros got one back in the eighth on Jimmy Paredes' sac fly, but went down in order in the ninth.
"That team over there is designed to hit home runs," Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said. "They have two or three guys who can really hurt a baseball."
The Reds have won eight of their 10 games against the Astros this season...Houston left seven on base and went just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position...Leake moved to 5-4 in 12 games against the Astros.