Rookie Nick Senzel and Jesse Winker ripped back-to-back RBI singles with two outs in the ninth inning as the Cincinnati Reds completed a series sweep of the Houston Astros with a 3-2 victory on Wednesday afternoon.
Jose Peraza greeted Roberto Osuna (3-1) with a ground-rule double to lead off the ninth inning before the closer rebounded to strike out the next two batters. Senzel sent a first-pitch fastball into left field to plate Peraza and forge a tie at 2 before advancing to second on a throwing error by outfielder Michael Brantley.
Winker capped his three-hit performance in style, sending a first-pitch fastball into right field to score Senzel and extend the Reds’ winning streak to a season high-tying four games.
Cincinnati’s late uprising made a winner out of Matt Bowman (1-0), who scattered three hits over two scoreless innings.
Brantley belted a two-run homer to highlight his second straight three-hit performance for the Astros, who have scored a total of seven runs while losing a season-high four in a row.
Houston’s six-time All-Star Jose Altuve went 0-for-4 in his return from a 35-game absence due to a strained left hamstring.
The Astros briefly seized their first lead of the series as Alex Bregman ripped a single to center field with two outs in the sixth inning before Brantley deposited an 0-2 curveball from Tyler Mahle over the wall in right. Brantley’s towering homer — which traveled a career-high 438 feet — was his 11th of the season and first since belting a solo shot in Houston’s 11-4 victory versus Texas on May 11.
Brantley’s bid to provide an insurance run was thwarted in the eighth inning as his single to left field was unable to score Tony Kemp, who was thrown out at the plate.
Yasiel Puig opened the scoring in the second inning by sending an 0-1 fastball from Gerrit Cole well over the wall in the left field. Puig’s homer was his 14th of the season and third in the past five games.
Mahle allowed a bloop single to Brantley with one out in the first inning before retiring the next 12 batters. The 24-year-old exited the contest after permitting two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings.
—Field Level Media