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(Tuesday, July 24th)
Final Score: Cincinnati 4, Houston 2
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Drew Stubbs hit the go-ahead two-run home run in a three-run ninth, as Cincinnati rallied past Houston, 4-2, in the second edition of a three-game series.
Xavier Paul added an RBI single in the deciding frame and drove in two for the Reds, who have won six straight and hold a 2 1/2-game edge in the NL Central over Pittsburgh, which lost to Chicago.
"Hopefully this carries over and we keep playing the way we have," Paul said.
Mike Leake (4-6) picked up his first win since June 29 by limiting the hosts to seven hits and a pair of runs over eight innings. Aroldis Chapman turned in a scoreless ninth for his 18th save as Cincinnati set a season high with its fifth straight road victory.
Justin Maxwell's two-run blast was all the offense for the Astros, who skidded to their eighth straight defeat.
Francisco Cordero (0-1) took the loss and the blown save, charged with all three runs and three hits in the ninth.
Zach Cozart started the ninth with a single and Stubbs launched a line drive into the left-field seats to put the Reds up by a 3-2 count.
Jay Bruce walked two batters later and moved up on a wild pitch before Scott Rolen also walked, then Paul's base hit brought in Bruce for a two-run spread.
Chapman fanned three in the bottom half to close out the victory.
Maxwell snapped the scoreless deadlock in the fourth, hitting his two-out blast to left. The homer preceded a strange play which saw a ball hit by Chris Johnson take a bad hop in the outfield, and Marwin Gonzalez -- who walked to start the inning -- was thrown out trying to go from first to third. Johnson ended up on second and later scored.
In the sixth, Brandon Phillips reached second on a ball which didn't clear the infield at third. Bruce walked, Rolen hit into a fielder's choice and Paul's infield hit scored Phillips for a 2-1 game.
That was the lone run allowed by Houston starter Lucas Harrell, who scattered seven hits and walked three while fanning six in seven full frames.
"To have this one slip out of our hands is tough," Harrell said.
Cincinnati has won six of eight meetings with the Astros this season, including four of five in Houston...For Leake, it was his second straight win at Houston, having taken a 4-1 decision thanks to seven innings pitched back on June 1...Shortly before the end of the contest, the Astros acquired three players from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for starter Wandy Rodriguez and cash...The 33-year-old lefty departs Houston with an 80-84 mark and 4.04 ERA in 227 games (218 starts) since breaking into the majors in 2005.
07/25 01:39:28 ET
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