Porter on missed opportunities
Prior to Monday’s game, Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list. He showed no rust, throwing five scoreless innings against the Astros. Zack Cozart did the offensive damage, driving in four runs, including a two-run home run, as the Reds defeated the Astros 6-1, sending the Astros to their third straight loss in the series opener.
Erik Bedard hadn’t made a start since Aug. 21 at Texas, so he wasn’t expected to pitch deep into the game. In four innings, the left-hander allowed four runs and four hits with six strikeouts and two walks. Bedard retired the side in the first inning and struck out four of his six batters before he was tagged for a two-run home run by Cozart. Bedard threw 70 pitches, 45 for strikes.
In his short five-inning stint, Cueto was more than effective. He allowed five hits with five strikeouts and one walk in throwing 82 pitches, 50 for strikes.
IN THE BULLPEN
Lucas Harrell saved the Houston bullpen by pitching five innings, allowing only two runs.
Cincinnati’s Alfredo Simon allowed only one run in relief of Cueto in three innings. Logan Ondrusek pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
AT THE PLATE
Jose Altuve had two hits, giving him a major-league-leading 29 hits in September. However, in the fifth inning, Altuve struck out with the bases loaded for the third out and the Astros trailing 6-0. Trevor Crowe scored from third base on a Matt Dominguez groundout in the sixth for the Astros’ run. Crowe led off the inning with a double deep in the right-center gap.
Cozart had two of the Reds’ seven hits with Joey Votto and Jay Bruce getting two hits each. Bruce scored twice and drove in two runs. Cozart drove in the Reds’ first four runs, all off Bedard. Cozart’s second-inning two-run home run, his 11th of the season, at 347 feet, opened the scoring. In the fourth inning, the Reds shortstop singled in two runs. Bruce’s two-run single up the middle off Harrell in the fifth made it 6-0.
IN THE FIELD
Second baseman Altuve made a nice long, running catch for the third out of the fifth inning on a pop up to shallow center field. Altuve had to avoid running into center fielder Brandon Barnes on the play.
Barnes was robbed of potential extra bases when his hot smash to third base was snared by Todd Frazier, who then threw to second base to get a force out. Reds left fielder Chris Heisey made a shoestring catch for the first out of the Houston fifth on a liner hit by Chris Carter.
Game two of the three-game series is Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. with RHP Jordan Lyles (7-7, 4.92 ERA) of Houston opposing RHP Mike Leake (13-6, 3.35 ERA). In Wednesday’s 7:10 p.m. series finale, RHP Brad Peacock (5-5, 5.27 ERA) opposes the Reds’ Greg Reynolds (1-2, 5.66 ERA).