Cincinnati, OH – Devin Mesoraco hit a two-run home run and run single as the Cincinnati Reds defeated the Houston 4, in the second test of a three-game set.
Homer Bailey (9-7) tossed seven solid innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks. He fanned five and added a career-high three hits and a run scored for the Reds, who snapped a four-game losing skid.
Astros starting pitcher Bud Norris (6-11) left the game in the third with discomfort in his right shoulder. Norris went 2 2/3 innings, surrendering three runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out three.
Cincinnati struck first with three runs in the second. After Juan Francisco led off with a single, Mesoraco hit a two-run line drive home run to left. Cincinnati then loaded the bases on singles by Paul Janish and Bailey, while Brandon Phillips walked. Dave Sappelt singled up the middle to plate Janish to make it 3-0. Joey Votto hit into a double play to end the frame.
Jordan Schafer led off the third with a walk and J.D. Martinez later homered to cut into Houston's deficit.
"It was nice we got right back into the game," Astros manager Brad Mills said.
But the Reds got the runs back in the fourth. Bailey reached on a single while Sappelt walked. After both runners advanced on a wild pitch, Bruce snapped an 0-for-16 stretch with a single to left for a 5-2 advantage.
"It felt good to get that hit," Bruce said.
Chris Johnson hit a two-run, pinch-hit bomb down the left-field line to cut the Reds advantage to 5-4 in the eighth.
Phillips gave Cincinnati some insurance in the eighth with his 18th home run of the year while Francisco Cordero worked the ninth to record his 34th save of the season.
With the win, Dusty Baker tied Earl Weaver for 21st place on the all-time managerial wins list with 1,480.
Norris has lost three of his last six starts and hasn't won since August 17 against the Chicago Cubs...Bailey is 4-0 in his career against the Astros while his three hits brought his average up to .297 on the season...Mesoraco's home run was the second of his career...Phillips' home run was his sixth of the homestand...Cincinnati center fielder Drew Stubbs struck out for the 200th time this season...Johnson's homer was his first pinch-hit home run of his career.