Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Jay Bruce hit a two-run homer to highlight a four-run first inning and the Cincinnati Reds banged out 15 hits to back another good start by Homer Bailey, coasting to a 7-3 win over Houston.
Joey Votto had three hits, including run-scoring doubles in the first two innings, and knocked in a total of three for the Reds, who have won the first two games of this three-game series and six of their last seven overall.
Bailey (2-0) threw seven scoreless innings, giving up just five hits while striking out five and walking none. He has won his first two starts of the season since coming off the disabled list last week following a shoulder injury.
Astros starter Brett Myers (1-3) gave up six runs in the first two innings and took the loss. He surrendered 10 hits, four walks and struck out eight in six innings.
Hunter Pence hit a two-run single for the Astros, who have lost four in a row and six of their last seven. Pence extended his hitting streak to a National League-leading 14 games.
Myers walked the first two batters of the game — Drew Stubbs and Edgar Renteria both worked seven-pitch at bats — and Votto roped an RBI double into the right field corner to make it 1-0.
Renteria scored on Brandon Phillips’ ground out, but Bruce delivered the big blow in Cincinnati’s big first with a two-run shot into the second deck in right field.
The Reds tacked on two more runs against Myers in the second when Bailey and Stubbs led of with back-to-back singles, then came home on Votto’s double to make it 6-0.
Myers threw 113 pitches in his six innings, but settled down after facing 15 batters in the first two frames. He allowed just five baserunners over the next four innings.
“It just appeared to me that he wasn’t able to get a good feel for his pitches and they were able to get some good swings,” Astros manager Brad Mills said of Myers, who hasn’t won in five starts. “But to come back and pitch six innings, that’s the type of comopetitor he is.”
Cincinnati pushed its lead to 7-0 against the Astros bullpen, but could have gotten more after loading the bases with no outs in the seventh.
Sergio Escalona walked Bruce and Jonny Gomes singled off Enerio Del Rosario, who then hit Miguel Cairo on the left elbow to fill the bases. Ryan Hanigan followed with an RBI single, but Del Rosario got two strikeouts and a force out to end the inning.
The Astros didn’t score until Bailey came out, plating three runs against a shaky Cincinnati bullpen in the eighth. Aroldis Chapman loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter, then walked Angel Sanchez to force in a run. Nick Masset came on and surrendered a two-run single to Pence.
Myers matched a season-high in strikeouts. He has pitched at least six innings in 39 of his 41 starts for the Astros in the last two seasons…Bill Bray got the final two outs for Cincinnati in the ninth inning and has shutout opponents in 18 of his last 19 appearances…The Reds have taken six of eight games against Houston this season.