After losses, Porter impressed by Reds

After losses, Porter impressed by Reds
September 18, 2013, 6:15 pm
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(USA Today Images)

After seeing the Reds play in person the past two days, and being beaten convincingly in both games, Astros manager Bo Porter is impressed with Cincinnati. Enough that Porter believes the Reds have a chance of winning the National League Central.

Wednesday is the finale of a three-game series between the Astros and Reds at Minute Maid Park. The Reds (86-66) come into the game in third place in their division, trailing first-place St. Louis by 2½ games. The Reds are 1½ games behind second-place Pittsburgh.

“They’re really a good team,” said Porter. “Offensively, you look up and down the lineup, they have speed. They have power. They have a lights-out bullpen. Their starting pitching is good, they throw strikes. They defend. They don’t throw the ball around.

“It’s a really good ballclub. It’s balanced. They have enough right-handed batters, and have enough left-handed batters. They’re tough to match up against.”

Cincinnati won Monday’s series opener 6-1, followed by Tuesday’s 10-0 win over the Astros. On Tuesday, Joey Votto went 1-for-3 and has hit in 23 consecutive games at Minute Maid Park. Votto, the 2010 NL Most Valuable Player, is hitting .309 with 23 home runs and 70 RBIs.

Jay Bruce, who hit a grand slam on Tuesday, has 30 home runs and 100 RBIs. Shin-Soo Choo has 103 runs and Brandon Phillips 101 RBIs. Mike Leake, who got the win on Tuesday, and Mat Latos have 14 wins each and Bronson Arroyo has 13 wins. Homer Bailey has thrown a no-hitter this season and has a team-high 193 strikeouts. Reliever Aroldis Chapman has 36 saves and 105 strikeouts in 59 2/3 innings.

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