Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Nelson Figueroa threw shutout ball into the seventh inning and the Houston Astros blanked the NL Central-champion Cincinnati Reds, 2-0, in the second installment of a three-game series.
Figueroa (6-4), who had lost his previous two decisions, allowed six hits, walked three batters and struck out five over 6 2/3 frames.
Carlos Lee had three hits, including an RBI double in the opening inning, for the Astros, who snapped a three-game skid and won for just the second time in their last eight games.
The Astros also set a milestone in the victory. They became just the fifth team in major league history to have two pitchers tally 20 or more saves in the same season. Matt Lindstrom leads the club with 23. Righty Brandon Lyon threw the final inning Wednesday night for his 20th save.
Johnny Cueto (12-7) surrendered eight hits and two runs -- one earned -- over seven frames to lose his third consecutive decision.
Reds manager Dusty Baker chose to rest his starting position players. Willie Bloomquist, Chris Heisey and Laynce Nix each had two hits for the Reds, who gained their first playoff berth since 1995 thanks to Tuesday's 3-2 win on Jay Bruce's homer off Tim Byrdak in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Jeff Keppinger doubled with one out in the opening inning, and with two down Lee doubled to right field.
Corky Miller flied out to leave runners at the corners in the bottom of the fourth.
The Astros tacked on a run in the seventh. Lee and Chris Johnson singled to start the inning. Lee went to third on the play on a throwing error by rookie first baseman Yonder Alonso. Brett Wallace then hit an RBI fielder's choice the Johnson out at second.
Nix singled to begin the bottom of the ninth, and the Reds got a runner to third with one out, but pinch-hitter Ramon Hernandez and Joey Votto both grounded out.