Cincinnati, OH – Jay Bruce hit a tie-breaking home run leading off the bottom of the eighth inning, as the Cincinnati Reds rallied to edge the Houston Astros, 6-5, in the rubber match of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.
The Astros took a 5-3 lead into the seventh inning and reliever Wilton Lopez yielded singles to both batters he faced. David Carpenter took over on the mound and retired two in a row before Joey Votto, who clubbed a two-run homer earlier Sunday, ripped a game-tying double to right field.
After Logan Ondrusek (1-0) shut down the Astros in the top of the eighth, Bruce drove Fernando Rodriguez's (0-3) first pitch into the seats in right-center field. The Cincinnati right fielder homered in a career-high fourth consecutive game.
Sean Marshall closed the door in the ninth for his fifth save of the season.
Zack Cozart knocked in the other run for Cincinnati, which has won five of its last seven games. Mat Latos gave up all five Houston runs on a career-high- tying 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Jed Lowrie belted a two-run homer and added an RBI single for the Astros, who have lost six of nine.
Jordan Lyles made his season debut against the Reds after being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. The 21-year-old right-hander allowed three runs on four hits and three walks in six frames.
"I thought he came along and threw the ball extremely well," said Houston manager Brad Mills.
The Astros scored in the first inning when Jose Altuve doubled down the left- field line and Lowrie followed with a single.
Chris Johnson stroked a one-out double in the second and advanced to third on a single by Jason Castro before scoring on a Lyles bunt for a 2-0 Houston lead.
Jordan Schafer then legged out an infield single but was ejected by second base umpire Marvin Hudson after being caught stealing. The hit extended his streak to 22 consecutive games reaching base to start the season. It's the longest streak to open a season by an Astro since Ricky Gutierrez went 23 games in 1998. Schafer is three games shy of the club record set by Denis Menke in 1969.
Lyles didn't allow a hit until Cozart doubled leading off the fourth. The next batter, Votto, who hadn't homered since the second game of the season, tied the game with a blast to center field.
Lowrie responded in the next frame with a home run over the right-field wall that scored Altuve, who hit a two-out single, but Cozart doubled home Ryan Hanigan to trim Cincinnati's deficit to one after five innings.
Matt Downs connected for an opposite-field home run in the sixth to give the Astros a two-run lead. Houston looked to pad its advantage, but failed to score with the bases loaded in the seventh.
Votto tied Sean Casey (117) for fourth on the Reds' all-time list for most home runs hit as a first baseman...Lyles drove in his first career run. He made his major league debut with Houston in 2011 and went 2-8 with a 5.36 ERA in 20 games (15 starts)...To make room for Lyles on the 25-man roster, the Astros optioned infielder Brian Bixler to Oklahoma City.