HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 02: Wilton Lopez #59 of the Houston Astros scratches his head as he walks off the field against the Cincinnati Reds at Minute Maid Park on September 2, 2012 in Houston, Texas. Cincinnati Reds defeat the Houston Astros 5-3. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Astros Vs. Reds: Houston Drops Series To Cincinnati Following Sunday's Loss

The Astros fell to the Reds on Sunday after the bullpen's eighth-inning meltdown. The defeat resulted in another series loss for Houston.

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Astros Vs. Reds Game Recap: Bullpen Falters As Houston Loses Rubber Match To Cincinnati

The Houston Astros were defeated by the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday afternoon at Minute Maid Park, 5-3. As a result of the loss, the Astros dropped their three-game weekend series to the Reds.

Bud Norris pitched very well for Houston, as he tossed six scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and a walk while racking up six strikeouts. Unfortunately, the Astros' bullpen was unable to preserve the lead that Norris and the Houston offense built, as they allowed five runs in the top of the eighth inning and sent their club spiraling toward their 93rd loss of 2012.

The Astros got on the board first, scoring a run on Brian Bogusevic's force out in the fifth inning. They tacked on more in the seventh, as Fernando Martinez tripled in Jason Castro to give the Astros a 2-0 lead. Martinez inexplicably got picked off at third base, which was unfortunate because Tyler Greene homered during the same at-bat, giving Houston a 3-0 lead that should have been 4-0.

Hector Ambriz came on in the top of the eighth, and allowed two baserunners before giving way to Xavier Cedeno, who immediately served up a three-run home run to Jay Bruce which tied the game. After giving up a single to Todd Frazier, Cedeno exited in favor of Wilton Lopez, who allowed back-to-back doubles to Chris Heisey and Miguel Cairo, giving the Reds a two-run cushion that they wouldn't relinquish.

Tyler Greene was Houston's top performer on offense, as he went 2-for-3 with a homer. Brandon Phillips and Xavier Paul had two hits apiece for Cincinnati.

For more on the Astros, be sure to visit The Crawfish Boxes. Additional coverage on the Reds can be found at Red Reporter, while Baseball Nation is the place to go for all things MLB.

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Astros Vs. Reds: Bud Norris Takes The Hill With Chance To Win Series

The Houston Astros beat the Cincinnati Reds in dramatic fashion Saturday night, and have a chance to do something Sunday they haven't done since Aug. 12: win a series. Bud Norris is on the mound Sunday afternoon, squaring off against Bronson Arroyo, and Norris' strikeout stuff could give the Astros their third win in 16 games. More importantly, it would give them their second victory in a row.

Arroyo has been surprisingly effective this season — he has a 3.84 ERA to go with his 11-7 record — and Norris, after getting off to a hot start, has been anything but. He continues to rack up the strikeouts, as he is wont to do, but has a bloated 5.01 ERA and 3.6 walks per nine innings.

The Astros' bats are where most of the trouble has been, however, and even in Saturday's win, they weren't much better. Justin Maxwell's homer was the only scoring that wasn't caused by a hilarious error. With more good luck Sunday, though, they can take the series and spoil some fun for the Reds and their fans.

For more on the Astros, visit The Crawfish Boxes. For news and notes on the Reds, check out Red Reporter. And for everything on the world of the MLB, head over to Baseball Nation.

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Astros Vs. Reds: Houston Wins On Walkoff, Bill Buckner-Style

The Astros haven't had a lot of luck this season, so Saturday night's win was all the more special when a bit of good fortune allowed what could have been an inning-ending groundout in a bases-loaded, tie-game scenario in the bottom of the ninth inning to turn into this.

Jose Altuve hit a relatively routine ground ball to Wilson Valdez, who came up a little early and watched the ball go right through his legs as Matt Downs crossed the plate, scoring the winning run in a 2-1 Astros victory. The win was the Astros' first in their last seven games and second in their last 15.

After Ryan Ludwick drove in what would be the Reds' only run in the first inning with a sacrifice fly, Lucas Harrell shut Cincinnati down after that, tossing seven innings and striking out three. Justin Maxwell hit a fourth-inning home run to tie the game before Altuve's grounder.

For more on the Astros, visit The Crawfish Boxes. For news and notes on the Reds, check out Red Reporter. And for everything on the world of the MLB, head over to Baseball Nation.

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Astros Vs. Reds Game Lineups: Houston Sending Out Lucas Harrell

The Houston Astros are looking to rebound in the second game of their series against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night. The Astros are sending out Lucas Harrell against the Reds, and Harrell has lost two of his last four starts with just one win.

The Astros are giving second baseman Jose Altuve the day off with Scott Moore taking his spot in the field. Also Jason Castro is also getting the night off catching with Chris Snyder behind the plate, and he will be batting eighth.

Astros lineup:
1. Jimmy Paredes RF
2. Tyler Greene SS
3. Brett Wallace 1B
4. Justin Maxwell CF
5. Fernando Martinez LF
6. Matt Dominguez 3B
7. Scott Moore 2B
8. Chris Snyder C
9. Lucas Harrell P

Reds lineup:
1. Zack Cozart SS
2. Drew Stubbs CF
3. Brandon Phillips 2B
4. Ryan Ludwick LF
5. Jay Bruce RF
6. Todd Frazier 1B
7. Scott Rolen 3B
8. Ryan Hanigan C
9. Homer Bailey P

For more on the Houston Astros and Cincinnati Reds, check out their respective SB Nation blogs at The Crawfish Boxes and Red Reporter. More on MLB can be found over at Baseball Nation and SB Nation's YouTube channel:

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Astros Vs. Reds: Houston Tries To Stop Losing Streak, Slow Down Reds

The Houston Astros and Cincinnati Reds resume their three-game weekend series on Saturday evening at Minute Maid Park after the Reds won the first game on Friday, 9-3.

The two NL Central teams continue to streak in opposite directions, as the Reds will try to extend their current four-game winning streak. The Reds begin September with a commanding 9.5 game lead over St. Louis atop the NL Central standings.

The Astros are simply just trying to win after Friday's loss pushed their losing streak to six games. Houston will start right-hander Lucas Harrell (10-9, 3.92 ERA) on the mound against the Reds. Harrell is coming off of a strong start in which he gave up just two hits and one run in seven innings against the New York Mets.

The Reds expect to start right-hander Homer Bailey (10-9, 4.24 ERA) on the mound.Bailey is 0-2 in his last three starts for Cincinnati.

The game is scheduled to start at 6:05 p.m. CT and will be televised on Fox Sports Houston.

For more on the Houston Astros and Cincinnati Reds, check out their respective SB Nation blogs at The Crawfish Boxes and Red Reporter. More on MLB can be found over at Baseball Nation and SB Nation's YouTube channel:

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Astros Vs. Reds Final Score: Houston Can't Keep Up With Cincinnati, Loses 9-3

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake shutdown the Houston Astros offense by striking out six, allowing seven hits and only two runs through six innings of work in a 9-3 win. The two runs that the Astros did score off of Leake were a pair of back-to-back solo home runs by Fernando Martinez and Matt Dominguez in the fourth inning.

At the end of the fourth, the game was tied at 2-2 and the Astros were hanging around, but the Reds opened up the flood gates in the top of the fifth inning by scoring four runs off of Astros starter Fernando Abad. Abad left the game after just 4.1 innings and a 6-2 deficit.

The Astros offense was unable to respond to the big fifth inning and had just two hits and one run over the final four innings

For more on the Astros and Reds, check out their respective SB Nation blogs at The Crawfish Boxes and Red Reporter. More on MLB can be found over at Baseball Nation and SB Nation's YouTube channel:

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Astros Vs. Reds: Cincinnati Heads To Houston For Three-Game Series

Cincinnati will face off against Houston at Minute Maid Park this weekend.

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