Series: Game 3 of 3

Houston won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, May 30
Game 2: Tuesday, May 31
Game 3: Wednesday, June 1

Reds 1

(21-32, 6-18 away)

Astros 4

(20-32, 15-10 home)

    8:05 PM ET, June 1, 2005

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    CIN 000100000 1 4 0
    HOU 10010020 - 4 7 0

    W: R. Oswalt (6-6)

    L: R. Ortiz (1-4)

    S: B. Lidge (12)

    Berkman has hit in 19 of last 20 games

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Roy Oswalt is making adjustments faster than the Cincinnati Reds.

    Oswalt took the major league lead for wins against one team without a defeat, improving to 14-0 against the Reds by leading the Houston Astros to a 4-1 victory Wednesday night.

    Oswalt (6-6) had lost four of his last five decisions but he was masterful against the Reds. He was tied for the lead in victories against one team without a loss with Pedro Martinez of the New York Mets, who has a 13-0 record against Seattle. Randy Johnson of the New York Yankees is 12-0 against the Cubs.

    Oswalt studies all of his games against the Reds to stay ahead in the guessing game.

    "I watched some film on their lineup, and they had two guys who had different stances today," Oswalt said. "They were a little more off the plate. When they do that you have to change something and that opens up the outside pitches."

    The Reds were again left scratching their heads.

    "You've got to tip your hat to him," Ryan Freel said. "But 0-and-14 off the guy is pretty unusual. He's got a live fastball and the difference between his fastball and curve is 20 mph, and that's tough to adjust to. But we've seen him a lot and by now you'd think we would be able to make adjustments. Obviously we haven't."

    Oswalt says he doesn't think about his mastery.

    "You never know about things like that," Oswalt said. "Sometimes you match up well, sometimes you don't. There are some guys who are .220 hitters who hit .400 off me and there are some guys who hit well and don't get anything off me. It's just a difference in how they see the ball.

    "I think I match up against them well and I guess they don't really see the ball well against me."

    Or keep up with Oswalt's adjustments.

    "I know him pretty good and this is the first time I've seen him throw a slider," Freel said. "I didn't know he had one. Add that to his repertoire and that makes him even better."

    Lance Berkman put the Astros ahead 2-1 in the fourth inning with a homer off Ramon Ortiz (1-4). It was the second of the season for Berkman. Jason Lane had a two-run double in the seventh inning.

    Brad Lidge pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 14 opportunities. The Astros won for the fourth time in five games and Lidge has saved each of those victories.

    Oswalt retired the first 10 batters before Felipe Lopez extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a double with one out in the fourth. A single by Sean Casey and an RBI hit by Ken Griffey Jr. evened the game at 1 in the fourth.

    Adam Dunn then walked to load the bases but Joe Randa hit into a double play to end the inning.

    Oswalt allowed just one more hit. He pitched seven innings, allowed four hits and struck out four.

    "The last two years, every time we've faced him we don't get too much going," Javier Valentin said. "Against us, he's like Cy Young."

    Ortiz loaded the bases in the first inning without an out but held the Astros to one run.

    Willy Taveras got his major league-leading 20th infield hit, Todd Self walked and Craig Biggio singled. Berkman then took a called third strike, Morgan Ensberg hit a sacrifice fly and Chris Burke flied out.

    Ortiz pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs while striking out seven.

    Game notes

    For the first time since Oct. 2, 1982, the Astros had an all-rookie starting outfield with Burke, Taveras and Self. In the 1982 game, the starters were Tim Tolman, Scott Loucks and Larry Ray. ... Ensberg led all major league third basemen in May with 14 extra-base hits. ... Houston's 10-19 record (.345) was the team's lowest ever for May. ... Lopez's hitting streak is a career high and the longest for the Reds this season. ... Casey has hit safely in nine straight games. ... Austin Kearns of the Reds is hitless in his last 20 at-bats.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press