Streaking Reds shoot down Astros
(Reuters) - The Cincinnati Reds rallied in the final inning to extend their winning streak to seven games with a 5-3 victory over the basement-dwelling Houston Astros on Wednesday.
The streaking Reds held a 2-0 advantage in the top of the eighth but allowed the home team to overtake them in the bottom half of the inning with the go-ahead run gifted to the Astros on a pair of throwing errors.
Cincinnati retaliated with three runs in the ninth, getting a two-RBI double from Drew Stubbs and another run-scoring double by Jay Bruce to fight off baseball's worst team and complete a three-game series sweep.
"This team doesn't quit, and thank goodness for that," Reds manager Dusty Baker told reporters. We've been playing (just) well enough to win, which is what we're here for."
Houston (34-65) suffered a second consecutive blown lead in the final inning to register their ninth straight loss, while the Reds (58-40) were able to maintain a 2 1/2-game cushion in the National League Central over second-place Pittsburgh.
"It just feels like everything's clicking for us," Stubbs said. "If we get down, we come back. If we get out to a lead, we hold it. That's the formula to winning a championship."
Stubbs finished with three RBIs and three runs, driving in a run in the third and scoring in the eighth to give visiting Cincinnati the lead.
Starter Homer Bailey tossed seven scoreless innings despite five walks, and struck out seven but things got interesting when he was relieved to start the eighth.
Scott Moore started the Astros' rally with an RBI double. J.D. Martinez tied the game on a double of his own before scoring on the same play as he twice advanced on throwing errors from outfielder Ryan Ludwick and first baseman Todd Frazier.
Bud Norris finished seven innings and allowed just one run for the Astros, but his bullpen let it slip away. Francisco Cordero surrendered the runs in the ninth and took the loss.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Alastair Himmer)
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