'Somebody had to win' Astros-Reds

'Somebody had to win' Astros-Reds
September 19, 2013, 2:00 am
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Porter compares Billy Hamilton to Rickey Henderson

(Troy Taormina - USA Today Sports Images)

Astros catcher Carlos Corporan best summed up the Astros’ 6-5, 13-inning loss to the Reds on Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park that took five hours, 18 minutes to complete.

“We fell behind. We tied it up. We battled. Somebody had to win,” said Corporan. “Both team had their opportunities.

“It’s tough, but we kept grinding to the end.”

Both teams had the bases loaded in the ninth and failed to score. It was that kind of a ballgame.

Jay Bruce must have been tired of playing and decided to do something about it. Bruce’s third double of the game, in the top of the 13th inning with the bases loaded, drove in two runs off Jorge De Leon (0-1) to break a 4-4 tie and lead to a three-game series sweep.

In Tuesday’s 10-0 win over the Astros, Bruce hit a grand slam.

“He hurt us pretty much all three games,” said Astros manager Bo Porter. “He got a big hit for his ballclub.”

Bruce’s 13th-inning double scored Billy Hamilton, who led off the inning with a walk, and Shin-Soo Choo, who also walked. Hamilton was a one-man wrecking crew in his first major league start.

Hamilton, who had 155 stolen bases last season in the minors, was on base five times on Wednesday with four stolen bases. He had three hits and two walks.

“He had three great at-bats off me and the kid can fly too,” said Astros starter Brad Peacock, who allowed three runs over the first two innings as the Reds built a 3-0 lead. But Peacock settled down and allowed only four runs, three earned, in 5 2/3 innings.

Hamilton became first player with four stolen bases in his first major league start. He and Bruce are the only players in Reds history to reach base five times in their debut.

“He knows how to steal bases and he’s fast,” said Corporan. “He showed it tonight.”

Corporan hit the last of three consecutive doubles by the Astros in their two-run sixth inning that tied the game 4-4. Corporan’s double was well over 400 feet on Tal’s Hill in deep center.

“That’s all I got,” said Corporan. “It was straight center. That’s a long way.”

Matt Dominguez had three of the Astros’ 13 hits. Brandon Barnes hit a third-inning home run off Reds starter Greg Reynolds, but the Astros failed to capitalize on a number of chances. They were 3-for-21 with runners in scoring position. And the Reds were 4-for-20.

The game ended when Aroldis Chapman struck out Chris Carter swinging with runners at first and second, giving him his 37th save and making a winner out of Alfredo Simon (6-4), who pitched three scoreless innings of relief.

But what hurt the Astros the most was an 11th-inning base running mistake by Jose Altuve, who had two hits to give him 32 this month, and who made an outstanding over-the shoulder catch to end the Cincinnati fifth.

With one out and runners at first and second in the 11th inning, Trevor Crowe singled to left field and Barnes, who represented the winning run, smartly was held at third base. But Altuve, who had been intentionally walked and was first base, kept running past second base and was caught in a run down. If Altuve had stayed at second, the Astros would have had the bases loaded and one out in a 4-4 game.

“That’s base running 101,” said Porter. “You have the winning run in front of you. You stop at the next base. It’s really that simple. Get to the next base and stand on top of that.”