Found June 01, 2012 on
Fox Sports Ohio:
The surging Cincinnati Reds were cooled off during their last series.
Facing the struggling Houston Astros might help them get back on track.
The visiting Reds hope to bounce back from their first losing series in more than two weeks Friday night when they try to extend the Astros' longest skid of the season to seven games.
Cincinnati (28-22) had won eight of nine to move past St. Louis into first place in the NL Central before losing two of three at Pittsburgh. The Reds still maintain a 1 12-game lead in the division, but they are eager to turn things around.
"I think just being consistent can keep us right in the thick of things for the whole year," starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo told the Reds' official website.
The Reds' recorded 12 hits Tuesday in their lone victory at Pittsburgh - an 8-1 win - but combined for two runs and 10 hits in their losses to the Pirates.
"We still have holes in our roster," said second baseman Brandon Phillips, who went 2 for 11 in the series.
Joey Votto got a rest from the starting lineup in Wednesday's series finale but delivered a pinch-hit single in Cincinnati's 2-1 defeat. Votto, 12 for 23 in his last seven contests, is batting .467 with four homers and 16 RBIs during an 18-game hitting streak at Minute Maid Park.
Though the Reds dropped three of four games at Houston in 2011, they took two of three from the Astros at home last month.
Cincinnati starter Mike Leake (1-5, 5.47 ERA) will aim for a better outing Friday after giving up 13 runs - 10 earned - in 7 1-3 innings to lose his last two starts versus Houston. The right-hander allowed six runs - three earned - in 3 2-3 innings of a 6-4 loss to the Astros on April 27.
Leake threw 84 pitches in only 3 2-3 innings against Colorado on Saturday, allowing three runs in a game the Reds went on to win 10-3.
Houston first baseman Carlos Lee is 1 for 12 against Leake, and 5 for 42 (.119) in his last 13 games versus Cincinnati. However, the veteran is batting .308 this season at home, where the Astros (22-29) are 16-10.
They should be glad to see Minute Maid Park again after dropping the final six contests on their seven-game trip tofall to 6-19 on the road this season. The skid is the longest for Houston since it lost seven in a row Aug. 9-15.
The Astros are coming off a four-game sweep at Colorado in which they were outscored 40-23 and their starting pitchers posted a 14.04 ERA.
J.A. Happ (4-4, 4.37) hopes to provide a better outing when he takes the mound in the series opener. The left-hander has yielded only one run over 12 innings while winning his last two home starts.
He allowed three runs and struck out a season-high 10 in 6 1-3 innings Sunday, but his teammates were held to two hits in a 5-1 loss at Los Angeles.
"He's getting a lot of guys to swing at balls that are just off the plate," manager Brad Mills told the Astros' official website. "If he happens to get a couple calls just off the plate ... then he can expand the plate, and he's all that much tougher."
Happ is 1-1 with a 6.17 ERA in four starts against the Reds, but has never faced them in Houston.
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve posted his second straight three-hit game in Thursday's 11-5 loss at Colorado. He's batting .353 in his last seven games, and is 6 for 18 in his last four against Cincinnati.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
After a much needed off-day yesterday, the Reds (29-22) got right back on the winning track en route to a 4-1 victory over the Astros (22-30) on Friday night. Mike Leake led the way with a strong 7-inning performance and Jay Bruce hit another homer to provide all the offense needed. Cincinnati now sits in first place 2.5 games ahead of the nearest St. Louis Cardinals.
The month of May treated the Redlegs very kindly. It was a month that saw them not only get over the .500 mark, but it saw them catapult past the Cardinals for first place in the division as well. And you can't do that without some getting some good individual play from your players.
Here are a couple of guys who were pivotal in the positive turnaround this month:
Police in Pittsburgh questioned a woman for several hours about a robbery in a hotel room where Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman was staying because her story changed, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Friday. Claudia Manrique, 26, said she was tied up by a stranger in the hotel room and stole valuables belonging to Chapman. Later in the questioning, however, she told...
The Reds lost the game and the series to the Pirates last night, 2-1. Apparently Johnny Cueto should have known better than to allow 2 whole runs.
The Reds are off today and traveling to Houston. Tomorrow they’ll take on the 22-28 Astros.
The Reds’ series record for the month of May was 5-2-2. They won series against the Pirates, Brewers, Braves...
Aroldis Chapman just can't seem to find his way out of trouble. The latest incident in the Reds closer's off-the-field issues occurred on Tuesday night when his girlfriend, Claudia Manrique, claimed she was tied up in a Pittsburgh hotel room and robbed by a man claiming to be a maintenance worker. After police interrogated Manrique for 12 hours, however, inconsistencies in...
With their 12-9 field-goal-fest of a win at Houston on Saturday (whoops, wrong sport), the Cincinnati Reds moved to 30-22 on the season and increased their lead in the NL Central to 3.5 games over the second-place St. Louis Cardinals.
The Reds jumped out to an 8-2 lead over the Astros on Saturday, but Mat Latos continued his shaky pitching and quickly gave up the lead. Houston actually...
Something very strange, dark and mysterious is going on surrounding Aroldis Chapman.
It was just over a week ago that I declared him the lynchpin to the Cincinnati Reds 2012 uprising. A night later he gets in trouble for driving his car 101 miles an hour in Grove City. I thought little of it. Earlier this week, Chapman’s ‘girlfriend’ was found at a hotel in Pittsburgh bound...
HOUSTON The process of painting the portrait of Jeff Luhnow as a general manager is ongoing, with perhaps the broadest strokes coming on Monday with the commencement of the 2012 first-year player draft.
Everything observers have come to learn about Luhnow over his six months on the job could pale in comparison to what is revealed by the decisions the Astros make early next week...
HOUSTON (AP) -- Drew Stubbs homered and drove in four runs, Brandon Phillips added three RBIs and the Cincinnati Reds outlasted Houston 12-9 Saturday night to hand the Astros their eighth straight defeat.
Joey Votto went 4 for 4 with a home run and a walk. Todd Frazier and Ryan Ludwick also connected for the Reds, who set a season high for runs. Brandon Phillips doubled in the go...
After losing a series to the Pittsburgh Pirates, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Cincinnati Reds as they opened a series with the Houston Astros yesterday. Especially with Mike Leake starting, who hasn’t been what you would call “good” this year.
Perhaps the offense was concerned, too, as they opened the top of the first inning with several strung together hits to...
Here are several pictures from the game the RHM clan attended on Memorial Day in Pittsburgh at PNC Park. The Cincinnati Reds started their series against the Pittsburgh Pirates and lost 4-1 thanks to a bad outing from Bronson Arroyo and a no-show by the offense.
Although Houston Astros starting pitcher Bud Norris had an overall fantastic May, his last start of the month was a big disappointment. Norris coughed up a career-high nine runs in 1.2 innings while working through a hip flexor injury.