National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, September 2nd
(All times Eastern)
Cincinnati Reds (81-53) at Houston Astros (41-92), 2:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cincinnati - Bronson Arroyo (11-7, 3.84)
Houston - Bud Norris (5-11, 5.01)
(Sports Network) - Red-hot veteran righty Bronson Arroyo seeks a fifth
consecutive victory Sunday when his Cincinnati Reds head back to Minute Maid
Park to finish off a three-game series with the Houston Astros.
A 12-time winner in 29 previous meetings with the Astros, Arroyo last faced
them on June 3 in Houston and took a 5-3 loss after allowing eight hits and
five runs in 6 1/3 innings.
He's won eight of 11 decisions in 14 starts since - including four straight -
while climbing to double-digit wins for the seventh time since breaking into
the majors with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2000.
In his last four starts - against the Chicago Cubs (twice), Philadelphia and
Arizona - Arroyo has combined to surrender nine runs on 22 hits in 28 1/3
innings, trimming his earned run average from 4.05 to 3.84.
He is 8-5 in 15 road outings this season while allowing a .239 batting
Houston replies with righty Bud Norris, who remains winless in 15 starts since
The 27-year-old Californian improved to 5-1 on the season with an 8-4 defeat
of the Cubs back then, but has since tumbled to 5-11 while losing 10 straight
decisions in a stretch where the Astros have gone 1-14 with him on the mound.
He pitched seven innings of one-run ball against the Reds in start No. 9 of
the 15-start drought, emerging with a no-decision in a game Houston ultimately
Norris is 0-2 with a 5.61 ERA in five career starts against Cincinnati.
In nine home starts this season, he's 3-1 with a 2.09 ERA in 60 1/3 innings.
On Saturday, Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips was ejected in the
eighth inning for arguing a checked-swing third strike.
His replacement, Wilson Valdez, let a potential victory slip right under his
glove as the Astros edged the Reds, 2-1.
Pinch-hitting for Fernando Martinez in the ninth inning, Matt Downs banged a
two-out double off the wall in left field off Sean Marshall (4-5) before Matt
Dominguez was intentionally walked and pinch-hitter Brandon Barnes was hit by
a pitch to load the bases.
Jose Altuve then hit a slow roller to second, but it got by Valdez, and Downs
came home for the winning run.
"That's every ballplayer's nightmare right there," Reds manager Dusty Baker
said. "Wilson is a very sure-handed fielder."
Wilton Lopez (6-3) picked up the win after getting the final two outs in the
top of the ninth for Houston, which snapped a six-game skid.
Prior to the final frame, Reds starter Homer Bailey and the Astros' Lucas
Harrell engaged in a pitchers' duel. Bailey fanned nine and surrendered a run
on three hits and one walk over eight innings, while Harrell allowed a run on
seven hits and a walk in seven frames.
The Reds won seven of the first nine games between the teams in 2012,
including a sweep of a three-game series in Houston from July 23-25. The Reds
won the 2011 season series, nine games to six.
09/02 10:31:37 ET
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