Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Bronson Arroyo threw six innings of one-run ball to set a career high with his 16th victory as the Reds gained ground in the NL Central via an 11-1 besting of Houston.
Arroyo (16-10) was backed by home runs from Jay Bruce, Jim Edmonds and Drew Stubbs while limiting theAstros to four hits and a walk while fanning five. Ryan Hanigan added three hits and drove in two.
"I felt pretty good. I ran out of gas after the sixth there. My breaking stuff, my changeup, my sinker was good. I had a little bit of trouble locating my fastball on the outter half, but luckily the couple of balls they hit really hard were right at Jay (Bruce)," Arroyo said of his outing.
Cincinnati's magic number to clinch its first division title since 1995 dropped to eight, as St. Louis fell a full seven games back in the standings with a loss to San Diego earlier in the day.
Houston's Nelson Figueroa (5-3) was tagged for five runs -- three earned -- on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings as the Astros fell to 10-6 this month. Carlos Lee was 3-for-4 and hit his 23rd home run of the year.
"They are a good team. They came out today with some big hits, some longballs," said Lee.
Lee's homer opened the scoring in the second inning, but it was all Cincy from there on out.
Chris Johnson's error in the third opened the door for a pair of two-out runs, as Orlando Cabrera sent a single into center field to score Arroyo, and Scott Rolen drove in Cabrera with a base hit.
Edmonds led off the fourth with a home run just inside the left-field foul pole. It was his first in exactly a month's time.
Bruce followed up a Joey Votto leadoff double in the fifth with a two-run shot, his 21st of the year.
Henry Villar came on for Figueroa, and the Reds tacked on two more with Hanigan's RBI single and a sacrifice fly from Arroyo. It became an 8-1 game when Stubbs teed off on a Felipe Paulino pitch in the seventh for his 19th homer.
The Reds added three more runs in the ninth, as Hanigan doubled in Bruce and Yonder Alonso came through with a two-run single.
The Reds had lost four of six entering Saturday and snapped a six-game road skid..Cincy has lost in just three of 11 meetings with the Astros this year, and improved to 6-2 at Minute Maid Park over that time...Cincinnati will go for the weekend sweep behind rookie left-hander Travis Wood on Sunday. He'll be opposed by 12-game winner and Comeback Player of the Year candidate Brett Myers...Arroyo moved to 10-6 lifetime against Houston in 25 career appearances...Edmonds was 2-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored