Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/19/13
It wasn't pretty and it wasn't quick but the Reds did leave Houston with a three-game sweep of the lowly Astros beating Houston 6-5 in 13 innings. The Reds' 87th win of the season (and Astros' 101st loss) began on Wednesday and finished on Thursday at 12:28 a.m. Houston time. Both teams bungled chances but in the end Jay Bruce's double off of Jorge De Leon with the bases loaded in the 13th inning gave the Reds the victory. De Leon who retired the Reds on three pitches in the 12th walked Billy Hamilton to lead off the 13th and then after a Hamilton steal (on a pitchout) De Leon walked Shin-Soo Choo. That set up a carbon copy of the situation in the ninth inning that the Reds managed to bungle. This time though it worked out for the Reds -- or at least it didn't explode in their faces. The second time in that situation De Leon helped out when he uncorked a wild pitch to move Hamilton and Choo up a base each. Brandon Phillips who was asked to bunt four innings earlier wasn't able to get a bunt down before the wild pitch but then grounded out. After an intentional walk to Joey Votto loaded the bases Bruce crushed a ball to right-center to drive in Hamilton and Choo and give the Reds a two-run lead. Aroldis Chapman who saw six relievers leave him behind in the bullpen before he got his turn gave up a run on two walks and a single but left two men on when he threw a 102-mph fastball past Chris Carter to end the game after five hours 18 minutes of play. The first two games of the series also won by the Reds combined to last just five hours 16 minutes. "It doesn't matter as long as you win. If you're going to be out there that long you might as well win" Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "That was some game. It wasn't the prettiest game but we left a lot of men out there. They left a lot of men out there. We couldn't get that hit. We knew it was going to be a bullpen night but we didn't know it was going to be that much of a bullpen night." The Reds almost won in spite of their best efforts as the Astros showed why they've lost 101 games this season. In the ninth Astros reliever Josh Fields walked Hamilton on four pitches to start the ninth. Hamilton of course stole second -- his third stolen base of the night -- and then Fields walked Choo on four straight. That brought up Phillips the Reds' previous four-hole hitter who entered the game leading the team with 101 RBI who was then charged with not driving in a run but moving a runner over with a bunt. He squared for Fields' first pitch and pulled it back when it was out of the strike zone. He then put Fields' first strike of the night down inside the first-base line. As Phillips raced down toward first first baseman Chris Carter's throw hit Phillips in the head and Hamilton appeared to score giving the Reds a one-run lead in the ninth. However home plate umpire Tim McClelland signaled out calling Phillips out for interference running inside the running lane down the first-base side. Because it's ruled a dead ball and an out Hamilton had to return to second and Choo to first. And not only did the Reds give away an out they also came away without any gain. With Hamilton running on the first pitch Joey Votto hit a ball to deep center. Hamilton recovered in time to get back to second and tag up before the ball was caught but the Reds now had two outs. After Fields got behind Jay Bruce he intentionally walked Bruce to load the bases. For Ryan Ludwick. Once again Fields went 3-0 to a Reds batter. Ludwick then watched three straight pitches striking out on a ball he obviously felt was outside leaving the go-ahead run on third base. The Reds got out of a bases-loaded jam themselves in the bottom half of the inning. J.J. Hoover in his second inning of work hit the first batter of the bottom half of the inning catcher Carlos Corporan. After an sacrifice and an intentional walk Hoover was lifted for lefty Zach Duke to face right-handed hitting Altuve.
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