Porter on Altuve's miscue: 'That's Baserunning 101'
The Astros had their opportunities on Wednesday, and that included the extra innings. But it was the Red’s Jay Bruce who came up with the big hit in the Reds’ 6-5, 13-inning win that completed a three-game sweep. Bruce’s third double of the game in the 13th was a tie-breaker that scored two runs. The Reds had won the first two games of the series handily, by 6-1, 10-0 scores. Aroldis Chapman struck out Chris Carter with two runners on for the final out of the game, that lasted five hours, 18 minutes. Both the Reds and Astros had bases loaded in the ninth and failed to score. Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton got his first three major league hits, was on base five times and had four stolen bases.
After a slow start, allowing two first-inning runs, and three runs in the first two innings, Brad Peacock settled down and kept the Astros in the game. In 5 2/3 innings Peacock allowed four runs, three earned and six hits with five strikeouts and three walks.
Cincinnati starter Greg Reynolds didn’t last long. But the Reds were leading 3-2 when he left with two outs and the bases loaded in the fourth inning. Fortunately for Reynolds, Logan Ondrusek limited the damage in the inning. Reynolds allowed two runs and four hits with two walks and one strikeout.
IN THE BULLPEN
Jorge De Leon (0-1) got the loss. After being down 3-0 in the count, Astros closer Josh Fields struck out Ryan Ludwick looking for the third out with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth of a 4-4 game. Fields had walked the bases loaded and fell behind 3-0 to Ludwick before getting three straight called strikes to end the inning. Kevin Chapman retired the heart of the Reds lineup in order in the seventh in a 4-4 game. The left-hander retired Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, the 2-4 hitters, in order. Josh Zeid pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Chia-Jen Lo pitched a scoreless 10th and 11th inning.
Alfredo Simon (6-4) pitched three innings of relief to get the win. Chapman pitched the 13th for his 37th save. Ondrusek came into a tight situation and got a big out. The right-hander struck out Jonathan Villar with the bases loaded for the third out of the fourth inning and the Reds leading 3-2.
AT THE PLATE
Matt Dominguez had three hits and Jose Altuve, Carter, L.J. Hoes and Brandon Barnes had two hits each for the Astros. Altuve doubled in the first and singled leading off the seventh, giving him a major-league leading 32 hits in September. The Astros had three consecutive doubles in a two-run sixth inning that tied the game 4-4. Carter, pinch hitter Hoes and Carlos Corporan doubled in succession. Corporan’s double, which scored Hoes and tied the game at 4-4, was in excess of 400 feet making it to Tal’s Hill in deep center. Barnes led off the Houston third with his eighth home run of the season, skimming off the top of the right field wall and cutting the Reds’ lead to 3-1. Barnes’ 329-foot homer ties for the second-shortest home run all-time at Minute Maid Park. The Astros had the bases loaded in the last of the ninth, tied 4-4, but Marc Krauss lined to short for the third out, sending the game into extra innings. Krauss struck out to end the 11th with runners at second and third. In the 12th the Astros had two one-out singles but failed to score. The Astros made it 6-5 with a run in the 13th as Villar scored on a Trevor Crowe groundout.
For the Reds, Hamilton got his first major league hit and Bruce had three double. Hamilton ended up with three hits and two walks. Hamilton’s first hit was a two-out double to left field off Peacock. Hamilton scored from second base to make it 3-0 on Shin-Soo-Choo’s single to right field. Votto was hit-less as his 23 consecutive games of getting a hit at Minute Maid Park came to an end.
IN THE FIELD
Second baseman Altuve made an over-the-shoulder catch in short center to end the Cincinnati fifth inning with Bruce on first base. Altuve denied Ryan Ludwick of a possible hit with the fine play. First baseman Brett Wallace saved a run by keeping his foot on the bag for the third out of the sixth, Altuve made a good play getting to the ball, but his off-balanced throw was off target and Wallace barely kept his foot on first. If he hadn’t, Hamilton would have scored, and given the Reds a three-run lead.
ON THE BASES
Altuve made a mental mistake, rounding too far off second base on a hit by Trevor Crowe and getting caught in a run down in the 11th inning. Barnes, who was on second, smartly was held at third base on the ball hit to left field. If Altuve hadn’t been out, the Astros would have had the bases loaded and one out.
Hamilton, who stole 155 bases last season in the minor leagues, stole four bases.
The Astros start a four-game road series at Cleveland starting on Thursday, with Houston LHP Dallas Keuchel (6-9, 5.17 ERA) opposing RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (11-9, 3.62 ERA). On Friday, Houston LHP Brett Oberholtzer (4-3, 2.98 ERA) pitches against RHP Zach McAllister. Saturday’s game pits Houston RHP Paul Clemens (5-4, 5.54 ERA) against LHP Scott Kazmir (8-8, 4.24 ERA). In Sunday’s series finale LHP Erik Bedard (4-11, 4.60 ERA) of Houston opposes RHP Corey Kluber (9-5, 3.55 ERA).