National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, September 8th
(All times Eastern)
Houston Astros (43-95) at Cincinnati Reds (83-56), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Houston - Bud Norris (5-11, 4.80)
Cincinnati - Bronson Arroyo (11-7, 3.76)
(Sports Network) - Streaking right-hander Bronson Arroyo tries to maintain the
Cincinnati lead in the National League Central Division tonight when the Reds
take on the Houston Astros in game two of a three-game series at Great
American Ball Park.
The Reds, who dropped Friday's opener, nonetheless kept an 8 1/2-game lead in
the Central when both St. Louis and Pittsburgh lost. The Pirates are in third
place in the division, 10 games off the pace.
Arroyo, a 35-year-old out of Key West, Fla., was 7-7 after a 6-3 loss to
Milwaukee on Aug. 6, but has since reeled off four wins in five starts while
trimming his earned run average from 4.05 to 3.76.
He's pitched at least six innings in all five starts and eight or more innings
twice, including a 3-2 defeat of Philadelphia on Aug. 22.
The 6-foot-4, 196-pounder is 12-7 in 30 career meetings with the Astros,
including a no-decision in their last matchup -- and Arroyo's last start -- on
Sept. 2, when he allowed a run on three hits in six innings.
The Reds won the game, 5-3.
Houston responds with righty Bud Norris, who tries again to end a winless
drought that reaches back to May 21.
The 27-year-old was 5-1 after an 8-4 defeat of the Chicago Cubs, but has since
gone 0-10 in 15 starts -- in which Houston is 1-14 -- while his ERA has soared
from 3.14 to 4.80.
He's faced Cincinnati twice in that stretch and emerged with a pair of no-
decisions, including Sept. 2 against Arroyo, after allowing eight hits and a
single run in 13 innings.
Norris is 0-2 lifetime against the Reds with a 4.55 ERA in 31 2/3 innings.
On Friday, Matt Dominguez hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning off
Aroldis Chapman and the Astros stunned the Reds, 5-3.
It was the second career home run for Dominguez, who was recalled from Triple-
A Oklahoma City on Aug. 30.
Chapman (5-5), meanwhile, suffered his first blown save since June 24. The
hard-throwing lefty, who entered Friday with a 0.30 ERA against NL teams, had
converted a single-season club record 27 consecutive save opportunities.
"That shows nobody is perfect," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He's been as
near perfect as anybody the last few months. It was just one of those nights
Lucas Harrell gave up three runs on seven hits in a six-inning start for the
Astros and Hector Ambriz (1-0) recorded the final two outs of the eighth to
pick up the win.
Justin Maxwell hit a first-inning, two-run homer in the win. Jose Altuve went
1-for-2 and scored on Maxwell's two-out homer before exiting with a lower
Homer Bailey got the start for the Reds and allowed two runs on five hits with
a walk and nine strikeouts over 6 2/3 frames.
The Reds won nine of the first 12 games between the teams this season,
including two of three when they met in Houston from Aug. 31-Sept. 2.
Cincinnati won nine of 15 games against the Astros in 2011.
09/08 10:34:06 ET