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The Houston Astros were swept by the Cincinnati Reds in a series that could have easily gone the other way. The Astros were at times good and bad, but mostly unlucky.
The Houston Astros were swept by the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday night, losing their third game by a final score of 5-3. After trailing the entire game the Astros took the lead with a two-out rally in the bottom of the eighth, but the Reds came back in the top of the ninth and put the game away.
Bud Norris put in a strong start for Houston, giving up only one run on five hits over seven innings. He didn't get much support from the Houston offense, who collected only four hits and no runs over the same seven. Going in to the eighth the Reds were up 2-0. Houston rallied on three doubles by Jose Altuve, Scott Moore, and J.D. Martinez, with Martinez coming around to score on a pair of throwing errors for a 3-2 lead. That was all they would get, and it would prove to not be enough.
Francisco Cordero made a repeat of his Tuesday night performance, giving up three runs in the ninth to cost Houston the game. With the loss Houston falls to 34-65 and will look to rebound in a four game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Houston was in position to win on Tuesday night, but a blown save by Francisco Cordero prevented that from happening, as the Reds scored three times in the ninth to win 4-2.
Dusty Baker has announced his starting lineup for Wednesday night, and it is as follows:
Bailey has been excellent in July. In four July starts, Bailey is 4-0 with a 1.76 ERA. He's allowed just 27 hits in 30 and 2/3 innings, and has struck out 27 against just three walks.
Hopefully for Astros fans, the Astros are able to knock Bailey around and inflate some of those July numbers.
The Houston Astros have called up Xavier Cedeno from the Class AAA Oklahoma City Redhawks to replace Wandy Rodriguez's roster spot, since Rodriguez was recently traded to the Pirates. Cedeno gives the Astros an 8-man bullpen, which means there is still a starting spot open on Saturday.
Astros have called up LHP Xavier Cedeno from Triple-A Oklahoma City.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) July 25, 2012
Cedeno had a 2.28 ERA in 22 games and 27 2/3 innings of work this season. That's before he was in the Astros bullpen earlier this season, when he gave up three runs, nine hits in 9 1/3 innings pitched.
The Astros called up rookie Dallas Keuchel when J.A. Happ was traded last week. There is only speculation on who Saturday's starter could be, as this rotation could hardly get any worse at this point.
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On Wednesday night, the Astros will face off against Homer Bailey as they look to snap Cincinnati's winning streak.
Brad Mills has announced his starting lineup, and it is as follows:
Norris will look to rebound from a disastrous outing, in which he allowed nine earned runs in four and 1/3 innings. Norris has taken the loss in each of his last seven starts as well, dating back to May 31, when he allowed nine earned runs in one and 2/3 innings against the Rockies.
For more on the Astros, head over to the Crawfish Boxes.
Francisco Cordero allowed three earned runs in the top of the ninth to blow the save and pick up the loss.
Justin Maxwell hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning to open up the scoring for Houston. Cincinnati scored one in the sixth, but Cordero entered the ninth looking to secure the win.
He got a flyout to start, but then allowed a single and Drew Stubbs hit a two-run homer to give the Reds the lead. Cordero followed with a groundout, two walks and single to score another run and end his day. Fernando Rodriguez came in and got the final out. The Astros managed just one hit in the bottom frame.
The Astros look to end their seven-game losing streak when they host the Cincinnati Reds in the second of this three-game series. Lucas Harrell (7-7, 4.24 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, as the league's worst team searches for a win against the NL Central Division leader.
Harrell faces Mike Leake (3-6, 4.25 ERA), who gets the start for the Reds. The Astros dropped the opener against the Reds on Monday by a score of 8-3. Houston is 1-10 since the All-Star break. Check out the game schedule and broadcast information right here:
Date/Time: Tuesday, July 24, 7:05 p.m. CT
TV: Fox Sports Houston
Online streaming: MLB.tv
Read more on the Astros at The Crawfish Boxes and SB Nation Houston. Head over to Red Reporter for more on the Reds. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball. Also, be sure to subscribe to the SB Nation Youtube Channel for video commentary.
The Astros have dropped seven straight games and nine of their last 10 after losing to the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night, but this game was a little different. The Reds beat Houston at Minute Maid Park 8-3 and it took almost four hours to do it.
At this point in the season, the losses are supposed to be painless for the Astros, because there are too many of them to be dragging them out like this. Reds manager Dusty Baker summed it up pretty well:
''It was a long night,'' manager Dusty Baker said of the 3-hour, 56-minute contest. ''That was the longest nine-inning game that I've played in a long time. If you're going to play that long, you might as well win.''
The struggling Houston Astros will look to play spoiler on Monday night when they welcome the Cincinnati Reds to town. They will hope Wandy Rodriguez, who gave up seven runs to the Reds in a start earlier this season, is on his game.
The lineups for Monday:
Read more on the Astros at The Crawfish Boxes and SB Nation Houston. Head over to the Red Reporter blog for more on the Reds. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.
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