(Sports Network) - Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo eyes a career-high 16th victory this evening when he attempts to even his club's three-game set with the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park while also halting theReds' six-game road losing streak.
Arroyo reached a career high-tying 15 wins for a third straight year on Monday versus the Diamondbacks, giving up a pair of solo homers over six innings with eight strikeouts. He snapped a three-start skid and improving to 15-10 with a 4.05 earned run average in 30 starts this year.
"Definitely been proud of myself and my career," Arroyo said. "Just going out and taking the ball and trying to be as consistent as possible knowing that I don't have spectacular CC Sabathia stuff. To win 15 [games] three years in a row is definitely satisfying."
The 33-year-old righty has faced the Astros just once this year, yielding two runs over 6 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts in a victory on April 29. In 24 career games against the club, including 18 starts, he is 9-6 with a 4.78 ERA.
Arroyo's Reds, though, saw their advantage over the second-place Cardinals for first place in the National League Central dip to six games after last night's 5-3 setback, the club's fourth in six games, and their magic number to clinch their first division title since 1995 remained at 10.
Jonny Gomes put his team ahead with a three-run homer in the sixth inning, but Houston's Carlos Lee tied the game with a solo homer in the bottom of the frame before Angel Sanchez got to Cincinnati reliever Aroldis Chapman with a two-run single in the seventh frame to put the Astros in front.
Chapman, who suffered his first career loss, hadn't allowed an earned run over his first eight big league appearances.
"It was a big inning for us. We never gave up. That has been key for us," Sanchez said after the Astros won for the seventh time in 10 games.
The Reds, who didn't get their first hit off Houston starter Wandy Rodriguez until the sixth inning, lost for just the third time in 10 games to the Astros this year, falling to 5-2 at Minute Maid Park over that time.
"That's a scrappy little team they've put together over there. I've been in that role before where you're playing spoiler role," said Gomes of Houston. "You want to finish strong, that's how those guys play over there."
Houston set a club record by posting their 17th straight game without a loss by a starter, surpassing a 16-game run in 1994, and Nelson Figueroa will look to keep that streak going tonight.
The 36-year-old is 3-1 with a 3.27 ERA in 14 games (six starts) with the Astros this year. Figueroa, who also pitched with the Phillies this year, received a no-decision on Sunday versus the Dodgers after winning two straight starts, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings.
The right-hander is set to make his second career start versus the Reds and has thrown five scoreless innings versus them this year over three appearances, picking up a win in one outing. Figueroa is 1-0 with a 4.09 ERA in 11 career outings versus Cincinnati.