(Sports Network) – Right-hander Homer Bailey comes off the disabled list for his first start of 2011 today when the Cincinnati Reds host the Houston Astros in the third and final game of a series between National League Central rivals at Great American Ball Park.
Bailey, who won eight times in 20 starts for the Reds last season, went on the 15-day disabled list late in spring training with impingement in his right shoulder.
He made rehab starts at Triple-A Louisville on April 17, 24 and 30 and was scheduled to make his final rehab start today, but will start for the Reds off the rescheduled rainout from Monday.
A native Texan, Bailey reached the majors in 2007 after his first-round selection (seventh overall) three years earlier. He was 4-2 in nine starts in his first stint and 0-6 in eight starts a year later before rebounding for an 8-5 mark in 2009 and a 4-3 slate in 2010.
He got a no-decision against the Astros in his lone career matchup, allowing three hits and five runs in 5 2/3 innings with five strikeouts.
Houston goes with durable righty Brett Myers, who’s lasted six innings or more in all but one of 39 starts with the Astros. Myers was 14-8 with a 3.14 earned run average in his first season with Houston – striking out 180 batters in a career-high 223 2/3 innings.
He faced Cincinnati in his second start of 2011 and pitched 6 2/3 innings of six-hit ball en route to a no-decision in a game the Astros ultimately win, 3-2.
In 12 lifetime meetings with the Reds, including 10 starts, he is 3-3 with a hold and a 4.02 ERA across 65 innings.
The Reds pulled even in the series in dramatic fashion on Wednesday, as Jay Bruce’s run-scoring double in the ninth capped a three-run inning, giving them a 3-2 win.
Houston closer Brandon Lyon (3-2) walked Drew Stubbs on four pitches leading off, then a wild pitch moved him to second and Chris Heisey singled to put runners on the corners for Joey Votto, whose single plated a run and left men on first and second.
Brandon Phillips tied the game with a base hit to right before Bruce grounded a double just inside the first base bag, scoring Votto with the winning run.
Cincinnati, which entered Wednesday’s game at 14-15, was 14-15 after 29 games last season before winning nine of the next 10 on the way to its first division title since 1995.
Travis Wood threw six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and four walks. The lefty also struck out seven. Francisco Cordero (2-0) picked up the win for throwing a scoreless top of the ninth.
Jason Bourgeois and Hunter Pence each had an RBI single for Houston, which had a three-game winning streak halted.
Aneury Rodriguez, making his first career big-league start, allowed only one hit – a one-out triple to Valaika in the third – and one walk, while striking out three.
The right-hander previously made nine relief appearances this season with a 6.75 earned run average.
Cincinnati took two of three from the Astros earlier in the season.