Astros 10, Reds 4

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HOUSTON (AP)—Striking out the opposing pitcher helped Wade Miller turn his night around.

Miller regained his control after a wild start and got plenty of offensive support from the Houston Astros in a 10-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night.

Miller was trailing 3-2 in the third inning after giving up two hits and four walks.

“In the second and third innings I felt a little off,” he said. “I just wasn’t letting the ball go. I was holding back for some reason.

“But in the fourth, the pitcher (Aaron Harang) came up and I tried to let it go just to see how it would feel. Mentally I had been holding back, not on purpose, but after I let go against the pitcher and got that strikeout, I felt better.”

Miller retired 11 of the last 13 hitters he faced.

“He really battled through some adversity and wildness,” Houston manager Jimy Williams said. “But the last couple of innings he was out there were his best innings.”

Miller (3-2) struck out seven and walked six in improving to 7-1 against the Reds, who have lost four in a row.

“He bailed them out of some spots,” Reds manager Dave Miley said. “We had some good AB’s against them but he has good stuff and he made the pitches when he had to.”

The Reds could hardly tell that Miller was struggling.

“I think at the beginning he didn’t have his best stuff,” said Sean Casey who ended a 10-game hitting streak with an 0-for-3 night. “Then he settled down. He’s getting more mature as a pitcher. He’s got some of the best stuff in the league. Tonight he did what he had to do to get out with a win. He pretty much shut us down.”

Jeff Kent drove in four runs and the Houston Astros had 16 hits. Richard Hidalgo went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

The Astros roughed up starter Harang (2-1), who allowed four runs on 10 hits in just 4 1-3 innings. Cincinnati’s pitching staff has struggled throughout the Reds’ 3-5 road trip, having given up 10 or more hits in all eight games so far.

With the Astros trailing 3-2 in the fourth, Brad Ausmus hit a one-out single to right, moved to second on Miller’s sacrifice and scored on Craig Biggio’s single to center.

The Astros went ahead 4-3 in the fifth on Richard Hidalgo’s bases-loaded sacrifice

In the sixth, Adam Dunn lost Jeff Bagwell’s high pop fly down the left-field line and it bounced free as Orlando Palmeiro scored from second. Bagwell, who went 3-for-5, was credited with an RBI double. Kent followed with an RBI single to make it 6-3.

Kent drove in two more in the eighth with a double, and Hidalgo hit a two-run triple one batter later to give Houston a 10-3 lead.

Houston took a 2-0 lead in the first when Biggio, who was 3-for-4, scored on a wild pitch by Harang and Kent hit a sacrifice fly.

Brandon Larson’s two-run homer, his first of the season, tied it in the second inning for the Reds.

In the third, Ken Griffey hit an RBI double to give the Reds a short-lived3-2 lead.

Notes

Reds INF Juan Castro, out since last Monday with back spasms, took batting practice for the second straight day and said he was ready to play. … Houston is 13-1 when leading after the sixth inning. … Biggio’s three hits left him eight short of becoming the first Astros player and 80th major leaguer to collect 2,500 career hits. His double was his 527th career, breaking a tie with Dave Parker for 29th on the major league list, one short of Frank Robinsonfor 28th place.

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