HOUSTON — Jay Bruce hit a go-ahead double in the eighth inning, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Houston Astros 6-4 Friday night.
Tim Byrdak (1-1) allowed consecutive singles by Joey Votto and Jonny Gomes before giving up Bruce's grounder that rolled just inside the right-field line.
Hunter Pence had four hits, including a home run, and drove in three runs for the Astros.
Nelson Figueroa replaced Byrdak and struck out Miguel Cairo before Drew Stubbs' sacrifice fly added a run.
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In the ninth inning, Angel Sanchez singled and Lance Berkman walked with one out. But closer Francisco Cordero retired the next two batters for his 27th save.
The Astros loaded the bases with one out in the eighth inning before Nick Masset struck out Pedro Feliz. Masset was replaced by Arthur Rhodes, who retired Anderson Hernandez to end the inning. Logan Ondrusek (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
In the sixth, Pence's two-run homer to left field scored Carlos Lee and tied the game at 4. Jeff Keppinger followed that shot with a double that dropped just short of the wall in left center field, but Reds starter Travis Wood retired the next three batters. Votto had a solo homer that landed in the first row in right field to make it 4-2 in the fifth inning.