HOUSTON -- Cincinnati right fielder Jay Bruce
hit a two-run double in the 13th inning, and the Reds completed a three-game interleague series sweep of the Houston Astros
with a 6-5 win Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.
Bruce, a native of nearby Beaumont, Texas, capped his 10-RBI series by crushing a 2-0 fastball from Jorge De Leon (0-1) to center field. Billy Hamilton
, who finished 3-for-4 with two walks and four stolen bases in his first career start, and Shin-Soo Choo
(1-for-3, four walks) scored.
Reds closer Aroldis Chapman
earned his 37th save in support of Alfredo Simon
(6-4), who worked three scoreless innings for the Reds (87-66). Chapman allowed a run on one hit and two walks. He struck out Chris Carter
with a 102 mph fastball with two runners on base to end the game.
The Astros (51-101) suffered a home sweep for the eighth time in 2013.
The Reds squandered a golden opportunity to push ahead in the ninth when Hamilton and Choo walked, only for Brandon Phillips to be called out for interference for running inside the base line following his sacrifice bunt attempt. Phillips finished 0-for-7 batting in the No. 2 hole.
Joey Votto followed with a harmless flyout to center field. Two batters later, Ryan Ludwick took three called strikes from Astros right-hander Josh Fields after jumping ahead 3-0 in the count, leaving the bases full.
The Astros pulled even with three consecutive doubles in the fourth, with Carter, Brett Wallace
and Carlos Corporan
erasing the Reds' 4-2 lead. Wallace and Corporan delivered their run-scoring hits off Reds left-hander Manny Parra after Carter reached against Logan Ondrusek.
It was fitting that Reds center fielder Hamilton, renowned for his blazing speed, attempted to steal the headlines while making his first start.
Hamilton recorded his first career hit in the second, a two-out double into the left-field corner off Astros right-hander Brad Peacock. He scored with ease when Choo followed with a single to right, upping the Reds' lead to 3-0.
Hamilton singled and stole second base in the fourth inning and pulled that same trick in the sixth, driving home Todd Frazier for a 4-2 lead when he scorched a ground ball that ricocheted off third base.
The Astros nearly erased what had been a three-run deficit when Marc Krauss scored on a Carlos Corporan sacrifice fly two batters before Jonathan Villar came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs with the Astros trailing 3-2. However, Reds Ondrusek emerged from the bullpen and struck out Villar to preserve the lead.
NOTES: Astros OF J.D. Martinez went 0-for-2 as a defensive replacement Tuesday, his first action since coming off the 15-day disabled list last Friday. Martinez, who had been out with a left wrist sprain since July 27, joined a crowded outfield that featured L.J. Hoes and Jimmy Paredes on the bench Wednesday. Despite that glut, Porter aims to get Martinez at-bats over the final 10 games of the season.
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- Houston Astros
- Billy Hamilton
- Carlos Corporan