Cincinnati, OH – Wandy Rodriguez tossed six effective innings and the Houston Astros topped the Cincinnati Reds, 6-4, in the opener of a three-game set at Great American Ball Park on Friday.
Rodriguez (2-2) gave up just two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out six. Brett Myers got the final two outs in the ninth to collect his fourth save of the season.
"I felt great tonight," said Rodriguez. "I tried to use all my pitches when I got ahead in the count."
Jose Altuve finished 2-for-5 with an RBI double, an RBI triple and a run scored, while J.D. Martinez, Jordan Schafer, Chris Johnson and Jason Castro all knocked in runs for the Astros, who have won two straight.
Jay Bruce and Devin Mesoraco clubbed solo home runs, while Joey Votto and Todd Frazier added an RBI apiece for the Reds, who have dropped two straight since a three-game winning streak.
Mike Leake (0-3) gave up six runs -- three earned -- on seven hits and no walks while striking out one hitter in just 3 2/3 innings.
"He missed some pitches at critical times tonight," said Red manager Dusty Baker about Leake. "He was pretty good at times, but you can't give Wandy that big of a lead."
Houston opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the second inning. Castro started the frame with a single to left and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rodriguez. After Schafer struck out, Altuve lofted a sinking liner to right that got by Bruce and rolled to the wall, scoring Castro and moving Altuve to third. A single by Martinez then plated Altuve for a 2-0 advantage.
The Astros added four more runs in the fourth. Jed Lowrie led off with a double and Brian Bogusevic reached on an error by Brandon Phillips. Johnson then doubled home Lowrie and Bogusevic scored on a groundout by Castro. After Rodriguez popped out, Schafer singled in Johnson to make it 5-0 and send Leake to the showers.
Alfredo Simon came in to try and get the Reds out of the inning, but gave up a double down the right field line to Altuve to score Schafer and make it 6-0.
Cincinnati finally got on the board in the fifth after Bruce singled into left field and came around to score on a pinch-hit double by Frazier to make it 6-1 Astros.
The Reds pulled within four in the sixth when Drew Stubbs laced a single to center and scored on a double by Votto.
Bruce and Mesoraco blasted back-to-back solo shots in the ninth off Fernando Abad, but Myers came in and fanned Chris Heisey before inducing a fly out from Zack Cozart to end the game.
The Reds fell to 5-5 at home this season...Astros first baseman Carlos Lee left the game in the first inning after rolling his left ankle...Cincinnati went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded six, while the Astros were 5-for-13 with men in scoring position and stranded six.