Reds beat Oswalt; Sweep Astros

HOUSTON (AP) - Bronson Arroyo pitched 6 2-3 strong innings for

his first win of the season, Joey Votto hit a two-run homer and the

Cincinnati Reds held on for a 4-2 victory over the Houston Astros

on Thursday night.

Arroyo (1-2) allowed six hits and two runs with seven strikeouts

to bounce back from his last start, when he allowed eight runs in

three-plus innings.

It was Cincinnati's fourth straight win and the third

consecutive loss for Houston.

Votto's first-pitch shot to the Crawford Boxes in left field

scored Drew Stubbs and pushed the lead to 3-1 in the seventh

inning.

Roy Oswalt (2-3) gave up eight hits and three runs while

striking out seven in seven innings in his first start since

returning from Mississippi where he helped his parents clean up

after their home was destroyed in a tornado on Saturday.

The loss breaks his streak of winning eight straight decisions

and is his second career loss against the Reds, making him 23-2

against them.

Houston put up two runs in the bottom of the seventh before Jay

Bruce added a run for Cincinnati with his homer off Tim Byrdak in

the eighth inning.

Francisco Cordero allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth for his

eighth save.

Arroyo didn't allow a run until Hunter Pence's solo homer to

left field in the seventh. Michael Bourn hit an RBI double that to

get Houston within 3-2 and chased Arroyo.

Daniel Ray Herrera got Jeff Keppinger to ground out, ending the

inning, and Mike Lincoln threw a scoreless eighth.

After Carlos Lee singled with two outs in the third inning,

Arroyo retired the next seven batters. He didn't allow another hit

until Kaz Matsui's single in the sixth inning.

NOTES: Oswalt got his 1,500th career strikeout when he retired

Arroyo to end the inning. ... Houston LHP Wandy Rodriguez will miss

his scheduled start on Friday at Atlanta because of back spasms.

Brett Myers will replace him and the Astros are optimistic that

Rodriguez can pitch on Saturday. ... Cincinnati CF Chris Dickerson

sprained his right wrist in the second inning Thursday night and

will have an MRI on Friday.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)