Mat Latos (7-3, 4.33) vs Wandy Rodriguez (7-8, 3.75)
The Astros' road woes are beginning to leak into their homestands. There wasn't any single huge inning that doomed Houston's hopes tonight, but the Reds still put up 8 runs, the Astros' offense couldn't pass muster, falling 8-3. It's the sixth time in their now 7-game losing streak that Houston has surrendered at least 8 runs to their opponent, and they're now 34-63 on the year.
*Wandy didn't start strong, giving up three runs in the first three innings, but he settled down and only gave up a single in three more innings after that. Wandy's line: 6 IP / 7 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 3 BB / 6 K. The normally trusty Wilton Lopez wasn't, allowing two runs in two thirds of an inning. Wesley Wright gave up a single to the only batter he faced, then EDR coughed up three hits and three runs in one inning of work. Abad allowed one of Del Rosario's runners to score, then he and Rhiner Cruz finished out the night with 1.1 scoreless.
*It was a night of missed opportunities at the plate, as the Astros left 13 runners on base.
*Houston's 11 hits were only the second time they've reached double digits in that column since the All-Star Break.
*Chris Johnson led the way, going 4 for 5 with a double and a RBI.
*Ben Francisco singled twice and went 2 for 4.
*Hopefully this means that Altuve is back, but he was 1 for 4 with a walk and a run scored, and he now has a three-game mini-streak.
*Marwin Gonzalez continues to acquit himself nicely since stepping in for Jed Lowrie, going 1 for 4 with a double, a walk, a run scored, and a RBI.
The way the Astro offense has scuffled lately, you didn't like their chances when they got down 3-0 early. In the bottom of the 5th, however, it looked like their luck might be changing. Four hits sandwiched around a RBI groundout cut Cincinnati's lead to 3-2, and Houston still had two on with only one out. But Mat Latos struck out Francisco, intentionally walked Schafer, then popped up Chris Snyder to end the Astros inning, and you felt their chances at a win slipping away.
Man of the Match:
Chris Johnson. A non-critical error notwithstanding, four hits and a great diving catch made CJ the star tonight.
Goat of the Game:
Wilton Lopez. At 3-2 Cincinnati, the game was still within striking distance, but instead of holding the line, Lopie let the Reds extend their lead by two more with nine outs to go - not enough time for Houston's anemic offense to recover.