Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Houston leads 2-0 (as of 9/7)

Game 1: Monday, September 6
Cincinnati5Final
Houston11
Game 2: Tuesday, September 7
Cincinnati7Final
Houston9
Game 3: Wednesday, September 8
Cincinnati2Final
Houston5

Reds 7

(63-74, 29-41 away)

Astros 9

(75-63, 38-33 home)

8:05 PM ET, September 7, 2004

Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

123456789 R H E
CIN 002000032 7 8 0
HOU 02302200 - 9 11 0

W: R. Oswalt (17-9)

L: P. Wilson (9-6)

Astros win 11th straight, edge Reds

HOUSTON (AP) -- Roy Oswalt appreciates the run support Houston's offense has been giving him and the rest of the Astros' starting pitchers.

Roy Oswalt
Oswalt

Oswalt (17-9) became the National League's first 17-game winner and the Astros extended their winning streak to 11 games with a 9-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.

"When you get a three- or four-run cushion, you can go right at them and make them hit the ball early in the count and keep your pitch count down," Oswalt said.

Houston has been averaging nearly 10 runs per game during its streak. The Astros have also scored six or more runs in a franchise-record 11 straight games and have scored 104 runs in during that span.

"We're going to be hard to catch if we keep this up," Oswalt said.

Oswalt gave up four runs on six hits in 7 2/3 innings, improving to 9-1 in his last 11 starts and 11-0 in 15 career games against the Reds. He struck out nine and walked three.

"I haven't really thought much about it, but since they don't have the same guys every year it's hard to explain," Oswalt said. "The big thing is that I always get good run support against them."

Oswalt spent much of Monday night at the hospital with his wife Nicole, who gave birth to their first child, Arlee Faith, earlier that day.

"I didn't get much sleep, but it didn't effect me much," he said. "I did get a little tired in the seventh though."

Mike Lamb homered and drove in four runs and Carlos Beltran hit a two-run shot for the Astros, who are on the second-longest winning streak in club history. The team record is 12 straight from Sept. 3-14, 1999.

The Astros have won 14 of their last 15, and 19 of their last 22 in improving to 31-19 since the All-Star break. They entered the night just ½ game behind Chicago in the NL wild-card race.

"They are the hottest team in baseball," Reds manager Dave Miley said. "It seems like any mistake we make, they jump on it. Oswalt threw the ball real well and we didn't do much."

Lamb is 8-for-12 with 10 RBI in the last three games.

"I'm feeling a lot more comfortable at the plate because of the way things have been going for everybody in the lineup. It takes a lot of pressure off of you in RBI situations when everybody is hitting the ball," Lamb explained.

Beltran left in the seventh after being hit by a pitch from Aaron Myette. The team said he bruised his right elbow and is day to day.

"Right now, I can't bend my arm," Beltran said. "I just hope I can wake up tomorrow feeling better and be back in the lineup."

Sean Casey homered twice and Jason LaRue added a three-run shot for the Reds, who have lost two in a row and nine of 11.

LaRue was impressed with Oswalt.

"You name it, he does everything. He throws the ball 96 or 97 and every pitch is dominating," LaRue said. "He's got a straight fastball, a cutter, a slider and an unbelievable curve."

Paul Wilson (9-6) lost his third straight decision, allowing seven runs and seven hits in five innings. He's winless since July 8, when he beat Milwaukee.

With the game tied at 2 in the third, Lance Berkman hit a two-out double and scored on Kent's RBI double to left. Lamb followed with a two-run homer -- his 11th -- on an 0-1 pitch from Wilson.

Lamb is 8-for-13 with 10 RBI in his last three games.

Houston moved ahead 7-2 in the fifth. Beltran hit a leadoff triple, and Jeff Bagwell and Berkman each walked to load the bases. One out later, Lamb hit a sacrifice fly to score Beltran. After Jose Vizcaino was intentionally walked, Wilson threw a wild pitch that allowed Bagwell to score.

The Astros added two runs in the sixth on Beltran's 38th homer of the season -- his 23rd with Houston.

LaRue hit a three-run shot in the eighth, and Casey hit a two-run homer in the ninth to make it 9-7.

Houston took a 2-0 in the second inning when Kent led off with a walk, moved to second on Lamb's single and scored on single by Raul Chavez. Biggio then drove in Lamb with a single.

Cincinnati tied it at two in the third on Casey's two-run shot off Oswalt.

Game notes


Houston has scored six or more runs in a club-record 11 consecutive games. ... Houston has scored 104 runs and has 135 hits in its last 11 games. ... Adam Dunn has the highest RBI total (87) of any player in the major leagues this season without a sacrifice fly ... LaRue set a Reds club record when he was hit by a pitch for the 21st time this season. He's second in the NL behind Pittsburgh's Craig Wilson.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES