- Associated Press - Saturday, June 18, 2016

HOUSTON (AP) - The Cincinnati Reds got a glimpse of the future on Saturday, and it helped lessen the sting of another extra-inning loss.

Cody Reed, one of the team’s top prospects, struck out nine in seven innings, but Cincinnati absorbed its second extra-inning loss in four games when George Springer’s RBI single in the 11th lifted Houston to a 5-4 victory.

“I’m tickled to death that this kid is here,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “I think he’s earned it. He has done it the right way. He has touched every level of baseball. He did well in Triple-A and earned a right to be here. I’m excited he’s here, and he will learn from all these experiences.”

Reed, who was acquired in last year’s trade that sent Johnny Cueto to Kansas City, allowed four runs and six hits. He went 6-3 with a 3.20 ERA in 11 starts for Triple-A Louisville before being called up on Saturday.

His nine strikeouts were the most by a Cincinnati pitcher in his debut since Cueto fanned 10 on April 3, 2008.



“My slider was really working, and that’s a pitch that has been really working for me for the last two years,” Reed said. “I got into counts where I could throw that thing and get some swings and misses.”

Jason Castro and Colby Rasmus hit consecutive singles off Josh Smith (0-1) with one out in the 11th before Springer’s grounder rolled just out of reach of diving shortstop Zack Cozart and into the outfield. Springer was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts before he made the most of his extra-inning opportunity.

Marwin Gonzalez and Evan Gattis each hit a two-run homer for Houston, and Adam Duvall tied it with a two-run shot for Cincinnati in the ninth. The series opener also went into extra innings, with the Reds winning 4-2 in 11 on Friday night. But Cincinnati dropped a 13-inning affair to Atlanta on Wednesday.

Scott Feldman (4-3) allowed two hits in two scoreless innings for the win.

Houston jumped in front when Danny Worth hit a leadoff double in the seventh and Gattis followed with a drive to center, stopping an 0-for-23 skid with his 10th homer.

Cincinnati responded in the ninth. With Joey Votto on first after a leadoff single, Duvall’s two-out, two-strike shot off Ken Giles to the third row in right field tied it at 4. It was Duvall’s 20th homer and Houston’s 10th blown save this season.

Gonzalez’s homer in the first lifted Houston a 2-0 lead. The Reds tied it up on a run-scoring groundout by Billy Hamilton in the fifth and a homer by Cozart in the sixth.

Reed said he was a bit jittery in the first, but settled down as the game progressed. He also joked that the Reds’ TV broadcasters probably got on him about allowing two homers.

“I’m sure the announcers had something to say: ‘Welcome to the big leagues’ or something like that,” Reed said. “Those guys (don’t) miss fastballs. They didn’t miss those. It’s something to learn from for next time out.”

Houston ace Dallas Keuchel allowed five hits in seven innings, but remained winless since May 28. Luke Gregerson, who was recently moved out of the closer’s role, struck out the side in the eighth.

NICE CATCH

Hamilton robbed Jake Marisnick of a hit in the second inning when he sprinted and dived to grab a fly ball hit to right-center field before crashing shoulder-first into the wall and tumbling to the ground.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: RHP Homer Bailey (right elbow surgery) threw live batting practice at the team’s spring training facility in Arizona on Friday without problems. He will throw live batting practice again on Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Reds: LHP Brandon Finnegan (3-4, 3.61 ERA) is scheduled to start for Cincinnati on Sunday. Finnegan is 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA in his last three outings.

Astros: RHP Mike Fiers (4-3, 4.76 ERA) will make his 13th start for Houston. Fiers allowed two runs in seven innings of a 4-3 win at Tampa Bay in his last start.

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