Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cincinnati Red-lights Astros Batters in Series Win

The Reds continue to stay close in the NL West by taking two of three in Houston, including a long 14-inning middle game.

Game One: Cin 4, Hou 2
W: Moskau (2-2)
L: Niemann (1-1)
S: Borbon (4)

Houston jumps out to an early 2-0 lead for Randy Niemann but the forkballer can't hold onto a good thing, giving up three runs in the middle innings highlighted by a sharp triple off the bat of light-hitting Paul Blair. Reds reliever Pedro Borbon is a bit shaky, giving up four hits in three innings of long relief, but Astros batters can't take advantage of the opportunities.

Game Two: Cin 6, Hou 4 (14 innings)
W: Bair (1-1)
L: Dixon (1-3)

Cincinnati's Tom Seaver is strong but not dominant, going 10 and giving up three Houston runs on scratch singles. Houston's dominant knuckleballer, Joe Niekro, also is tough, and the teams find themselves knotted up at three apiece. It then settles down to pitching, as neither team can generate scoring chances. Houston has to resort to unsteady reliever Tom Dixon in the fourteenth, and he responds characteristically by giving up three runs on six hits, including four straight Reds singles. Houston loads them up against Doug Bair in the bottom of the inning and grabs one run back, but disappointing Jeffrey Leonard grounds into a DP to end the marathon.

Game Three: Hou 9, Cin 5
W: Williams (3-1)
L: Norman (2-6)
S: Roberge (1)

Spot starter Rick Williams has another fine outing for Houston and is aided by a three-for-five day with three RBIs from banjo-hitting shortstop Craig Reynolds. Cincinnati's Ken Griffey stretches his hit streak to 22 games and drives in two in defeat. He is now batting .370 on the year.

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