HOUSTON (AP)—The Cincinnati Reds are starting to believe in themselves.
“I feels great to beat a team in our division and to win on the road,” Votto said. “But the best part of it was I don’t think a single player on the bench was concerned when we were behind.
“They just believe in us now. I didn’t get the feeling that anyone had their heads down.”
Bronson Arroyo (2-1) allowed three runs and nine hits in seven innings.
“Things are really rolling for us now,” Arroyo said. “Everything is just falling into place for us. I just want to keep riding this wave.”
Manager Dusty Baker agreed.
“Arroyo pitched really well,” Baker said. “And (Ryan) Hanigan and Janis and everyone contributed. His is a really big win. It’s early but they all count the same.”
“We still haven’t gotten the big hit,” Pence said. “You don’t have a lot of opportunities. I think everyone has and once again we didn’t get it done. I’m going to be a winner, I’m going to find a way in those times I’m up at bat, this time I didn’t get them.”
Geoff Geary (0-2) took the loss.
Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee hit consecutive homers in the sixth inning to give the Astros the lead. Arroyo was the pitcher who broke Lee’s hand last Aug. 9 ending his season when he was leading the league in RBIs.
Mike Hampton gave up three runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings for Houston. He struck out five and walked one. It was his first start against the Reds since May 26, 2003.
“I know I sound like a broken record, but we got good starting pitching and couldn’t come up with a big hit when we needed one,” Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. “All we needed was one big hit in the eighth and that would’ve given us the big, big inning for us but we just couldn’t get it.”
Edwin Encarnacion had a two-run single in the first to give the Reds a 2-0 lead.
Houston cut the deficit to one in the second on Ivan Rodriguez’s RBI groundout.
Berkman tied Craig Biggio for second on the Astros all-time home run list with 291. … Houston increased its NL-leading total of double plays to 18 with one in the fourth inning. … Kaz Matsui was back in the lineup for the first time in six games after sitting out with a sore back. … Jay Bruce missed his third straight game with a bruise on his right hand, although he did pinch run in Sunday’s game. … Cincinnati has trailed in 10 of its 12 games this season.