HOUSTON – Brett Myers pitched seven scoreless innings, Humberto Quintero drove in two runs and the Houston Astros held off a late rally to slow the Cincinnati Reds' drive for their first NL Central title since 1995 with a 4-3 victory Sunday.
Rookie Chris Johnson had a solo home run in the seventh inning to help the Astros take two of three games from the Reds. With St. Louis' 4-1 win over San Diego, Cincinnati's magic number for winning the division title remained eight.
Myers (13-7) extended his streak of consecutive starts of six or more innings to begin a season to 31. It is the longest such streak since Curt Schilling did it in his first 35 starts in 2002. Myers yielded six hits and struck out five for his fifth straight win.
The Reds trailed 4-0 in the eighth inning before Jay Bruce hit an RBI single after Joey Votto hit his second double of the game.
Ramon Hernandez hit a two-run homer off Matt Lindstrom to get Cincinnati to 4-3. Lindstrom was replaced by Mark Melancon, who struck out Drew Stubbs to limit the damage.
Brandon Phillips singled with two outs in the ninth inning before pinch-hitter Scott Rolen singled to right field off Houston closer Brandon Lyon. Lyon retired Votto to get his 18th save.
Reds starter Travis Wood (5-4) allowed four hits and three runs with five strikeouts in six innings.
Jason Michaels was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning before a double by Johnson that rolled into the right field corner. Then with one out, Quintero drove in two runs with a single to make it 2-0. He advanced to third base on an error by Hernandez.
Quintero scored on a sacrifice fly by Myers to push the lead to 3-0.
Votto doubled with two outs in the third inning but Myers retired the next nine batters. Jonny Gomes got Cincinnati's next hit with his with two outs in the sixth. Bruce walked after that, but the Reds came up empty when Hernandez grounded out.
The Reds got a pair of singles in the first inning, but Myers retired Bruce for the third out.
Wood didn't allow a hit until Michael Bourn's single with no outs in the fourth inning. He advanced to second on an error by Wood on the play but was out when Jeff Keppinger reached on a fielder's choice. Wood retired Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee to get out of that inning.
NOTES: Bourn left late in Sunday's game with a mild right oblique strain and is listed as day to day. ... Rolen was not in the lineup Sunday, but pinch hit in the ninth inning. Reds manager Dusty Baker said he's just a little "banged up." ... Baker said he isn't sure if RHP Homer Bailey will make his scheduled start at Milwaukee on Monday. He left his last start after experiencing dizziness in the fifth inning. Baker said he had to consult with the team trainer before he makes the decision. ... Houston RHP Bud Norris will make his scheduled start on Monday despite the injury to his left shin. Norris was hit by a line drive on the first pitch of his last start but remained in the game. He has a large bruise on his shin and had his leg wrapped in tape from the knee to the ankle on Sunday, but said he's OK.