Houston fell out of first place in the National League Central for the first time since July 7 with Friday's 9-7 loss in 10 innings, which also snapped its 10-game winning streak over Cincinnati. The normally reliable Dotel was tagged for four runs and four hits while retiring just two batters as he failed to hold a late lead.
The Astros' bullpen combined to allow one run and four hits in three innings to protect the win for starter
yielded a run in the seventh inning, Dotel worked a scoreless eighth and closer
allowed one hit in the ninth for his 35th save in 38 chances.
"The big thing today is we got good pitching and good defense," Astros manager
Kent produced the game's first run with a leadoff homer in the second inning off Reds starter
(0-1). It was Kent's 17th homer of the year.
Houston added three runs in the fifth inning.
reached on an infield hit with one out and Etherton walked
before Berkman snapped an 0-for-10 skid with a two-out, three-run blast over the right field fence for a 5-1 lead.
"If I could have the one pitch back and have a do over or a mulligan, I'd take it," Etherton said. "That changed the momentum of the game. It got more of the plate than I wanted it to and he hammered it."
The win moved Houston back into first place, one-half game ahead of the
"That's the thing about this game," Bagwell said. "There's always tomorrow. We were out of first place for 12 hours. We would make it a lot better if we could find a way to win tomorrow."
Miller remained unbeaten in August by allowing one run and one hit in six innings. The righthander is 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his last three outings and improved to 6-0 lifetime against Cincinnati.
"He gave a gutty performance," Williams said. "He really battled. He gave us six good innings and made pitches when he had to."
Miller did not allow a hit until
's controversial two-out double in the fourth inning, his first major league hit. The ball was ruled a ground-rule double due to fan interference, although the Reds argued that it would have gone over the fence for a home run.
"I thought it was a home run," Stenson said. "You can beat it up as much as you can but he made his call. It probably wasn't the easiest call to make."
The Astros took a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Miller led off with a single,
was hit by a pitch and Ensberg singled to load the bases. Etherton minimized the damage when Bagwell's sacrifice fly scored Miller.