Cincinnati, OH – Johnny Cueto tossed seven scoreless innings and Jay Bruce knocked in four runs as the Reds took a 6-0 decision in the middle contest of a three-game set at Great American Ballpark on Saturday.
Cueto (3-0) allowed just five hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Bruce finished with two hits, including a two-run homer, and Brandon Phillips added an RBI triple and two runs scored for the Reds, who snapped a brief two-game skid.
"It was a good win," remarked Bruce. "It always feels good to win and obviously always feels good to get hits."
Lucas Harrell (1-2) surrendered six runs -- five earned -- on nine hits and a walk over his six-inning start. Travis Buck had two of the Astros' six hits as they fell for the third time in five games.
"I still thought he had some pretty good stuff," said Astros manager Brad Mills about Harrell's outing. "I told him after we took him out that the two runs they got in the first inning, Phillips hit that ball well to center field. The other balls, they seemed to find some holes and that's going to happen."
The Reds got things going with two outs in the first as Joey Votto doubled and Phillips plated him with a triple off the tip of Jordan Schafer's glove in center field.
Scott Rolen delivered a seeing-eye single to right field after a Bruce walk to score Phillips for a 2-0 edge.
Cincinnati added two more in the third when Zack Cozart hit a leadoff single and Votto reached on an error from second baseman Jose Altuve. After each player advanced a base, Bruce belted a double into the left-field corner, scoring Cozart and Votto to extend the lead to 4-0.
It was 6-0 in the fifth after Bruce launched a two-run homer into the seats in right field for his sixth of the season.
The Astros threatened in the ninth when they loaded the bases with two outs against Aroldis Chapman with walks by Jed Lowrie and Chris Johnson around Buck's base hit, but Chris Snyder went down swinging to end the game.
Astros first baseman Carlos Lee was not in the lineup after leaving Friday's game in the first inning when he rolled his left ankle...Schafer has reached base safely in all 21 games this season after hitting a single in the fifth inning. It marks the longest stretch by an Astro at the start of a season since Ricky Gutierrez had a 23-game run in 1998. The club record is 25 games, set by Denis Menke in 1969...Sunday's matchup features right-hander Mat Latos for the Reds against righty Jordan Lyles, who joined the Astros in Cincinnati on Saturday and will officially be recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday, at which time a corresponding move will be made.