Astros roll past Reds, 10-4

Published 10:37 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2011

CINCINNATI (AP) — Left-hander J.A. Happ singled home a run during Houston’s six-run fourth inning — its biggest of the season — and the Astros beat the Reds 10-4 on Tuesday night, leaving Cincinnati with its first losing record in nearly a year.

The defending NL Central champs fell to 14-15, the first time they’ve been below .500 since they had an identical mark last May 7.

The Astros sent 10 batters to the plate in the fourth, knocking Mike Leake (3-1) out of the game. It was the right-hander’s first start since he settled his shoplifting case.

Email newsletter signup

Happ (2-4) ended a personal streak of three straight losses, which matched the longest of his career.

Chris Johnson and Brett Wallace had solo homers for the Astros, who evened their season series at two games apiece. Wallace extended his hitting streak to 11 games, a career high. Hunter Pence extended his hitting streak to a season-high seven games.

Both starters got an extra day of rest when the opening game of the series was postponed by rain on Monday night. Happ handled the adjustment better, giving up four runs in 6 1-3 innings. It was a huge improvement over his other start in Cincinnati this season, an 8-2 loss on April 5, when he struggled to throw strikes.

Happ also singled home a run during the decisive fourth inning, continuing his uncharacteristic surge at the plate. He was only 4 for 77 career (.052) heading into this season. He’s 5 for 10 with three RBIs in his six starts this season.

The Astros’ offense had a big night despite missing outfielder Carlos Lee, who bruised the left side of his ribcage in a collision with shortstop Angel Sanchez on Sunday. Lee rejoined the team after getting tests at a hospital that found no fracture. He’s limited to getting treatment.

His replacement in the lineup came through. Jason Bourgeois’ two-run double off reliever Jordan Smith completed the six-run fourth inning and made it 7-1. Bourgeois had a single and a pair of doubles, leaving him 10 for 17 in the last seven games.

Leake had his roughest game of the season, giving up seven runs — matching his career high — in only 3 2-3 innings. The 23-year-old pitcher settled his shoplifting case last Friday, pleading to a lesser charge of unauthorized use of property. He was sentenced to community service.

NOTES: Astros INF Joe Inglett cleared waivers and accepted his assignment to Triple-A Oklahoma City. … OF Jason Michaels will hit for a few days before starting a rehab assignment in the minors. Michaels separated his left shoulder on April 24 and went on the 15-day DL. … Joey Votto has reached base safely in all 29 Reds games this season, five shy of Dave Collins’ modern-day club record from 1981. Votto and Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun are the only major leaguers who have reached safely in every game this season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. … 2B Brandon Phillips fielded Bourgeois’ slow roller with his bare hand and flipped it between his legs to first base to get the out in the third inning.