Myers Goes For 15th Win As Astros Take On Reds

(Sports Network) - Brett Myers will try to win 15 games for the first time in his career when the Houston Astros play the rubber match of a three-game series tonight against the NL Central-champion Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.

Myers enjoyed an impressive first season with the Astros and is 14-7 with a 2.89 earned run average in 32 starts. Myers, who last won 14 games back in 2003 as a member of Philadelphia, can reach the 15-win mark for the first time tonight against a Reds team he has pitched well against in his career. He beat them with seven shutout innings on Sept. 19 and is 3-2 in 10 career games, eight of which have been starts.

The fiery right-hander has won four straight starts and is 6-0 with a 2.07 earned run average in his last nine starts overall. Myers was bailed out for the win by his offense in last Friday's 10-7 win at Pittsburgh, as he was touched for six runs -- five earned -- and six hits in six innings. He has pitched at least six innings in all 32 starts this season -- the longest such run since Curt Schilling lasted at least six frames in all 35 starts for Arizona back in 2002.

Houston could use another solid mound performance for a series victory tonight and ended a three-game losing streak with Wednesday's 2-0 win behind Nelson Figueroa's 6 2/3 shutout innings and five strikeouts. Brandon Lyon registered his 20th save in the ninth inning.

"Middle relief, got a chance to be long relief and I've got a chance to start," said Figueroa, who is not signed beyond this season. "I feel like I can be a nice part of this team in the years to come. That's up to them. I'd like to return."

Carlos Lee finished 3-for-4 with a run batted in and Brett Wallace was credited with the other RBI for the Astros, who got two hits out of Angel Sanchez.

Cincinnati has dropped four of six games, but the spirits are still high after clinching the first NL Central title since the 1995 season a few days ago. Johnny Cueto got the start last night and was dealt the loss for allowing two runs -- one earned -- and eight hits in seven innings of work.

Willie Bloomquist, Chris Heisey and Laynce Nix ended with two hits apiece for the Reds, whose opponent in the NLDS has yet to be determined.

"We have a chance to give our regulars a couple days of rest before we go into the playoffs, which is key," Reds catcher Corky Miller said.

Bronson Arroyo may get the nod for Game 1 of next week's playoff series and will toe the rubber tonight versus the Astros. Arroyo defeated Houston on Sept. 18 at Minute Maid Park with six innings of one-run ball and is 10-6 in 25 career games (19 starts) in this series.

The high-kicking Arroyo is 2-0 in his last three starts overall and did not figure into the decision of last Friday's 4-3 loss at San Diego. He held the Padres to a pair of runs and five hits in five innings to remain at 16-10 in 32 starts this season to go along with a 3.97 ERA.

Cincinnati has won nine of 14 meetings with Houston this season, but the Astros are 4-2 in the past six encounters. The Reds have won 10 of the last 12 matchups at Great American Ball Park.

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