HOUSTON (AP) -- Pinch-hitter Jose Vizcaino failed to lay down a bunt. He redeemed himself by hitting a long drive off the right field wall.
Vizcaino hit an RBI double with no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, completing the Houston Astros' rally from a three-run deficit to beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 on Saturday night.Willy Taveras led off the ninth with an infield single off Ryan Wagner (0-1), and Vizcaino, hitting for Brad Lidge, was sent up to sacrifice Taveras over to second.Wagner fell behind 3-0 to Vizcaino and then fooled him with a pair of strikes, including an outside sinker to bring the count full."I was pretty angry at the time because I should have bunted that sinker," Vizcaino said. "I just wanted to do my job. I just wanted to move the runner over."The bunt signal was taken off and Vizcaino doubled to score Taveras from first."I was happy when I saw it go over (right fielder Austin Kearns') head," Vizcaino said. "But I didn't think (Taveras) would score. I came into second base and I took my batting glove off and looked up and everyone was running out to the plate. I was surprised."Taveras, who was 3-for-4, is known for his speed."I just took off," Taveras said. "I slowed up at second because I wanted to be sure it would fall. But then (third base coach Doug) Mansolino signaled me to go home and I just tried to go as hard as I could."Manager Phil Garner never doubted Mansolino would wave Taveras home."I knew Doug would send him, he has so much speed," Garner said. "Viz didn't get a very good pitch to bunt but he didn't get carried away trying to bunt. Then he was just trying to put the bat on the ball at the end and he knocked the snot out of it."Lidge (1-0) pitched an inning for the win. Wagner came on for the Reds to start the ninth.Paul Wilson shut down the Astros for five innings and then struggled as Houston tied it with three runs in the sixth.Jeff Bagwell hit a leadoff homer, the Astros' first home run of the season, and after Morgan Ensberg singled, Jason Lane connected for a two-run shot to make it 3-all.Wilson left after the sixth having allowed three runs and eight hits. He walked two and struck out two."It was a disappointing loss," Reds manager Dave Miley said. "We had opportunities. We were 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position. We left 13 guys on. We just couldn't get the hit when we needed it."Houston starter Brandon Backe worked five innings and gave up two runs on six hits and a walk. He struck out five.The Reds opened the scoring in the first. D'Angelo Jimenez led off with a walk and advanced to third on Ken Griffey Jr.'s double to right. He scored when Lane's throw back into the infield was
wide of the cutoff.Jason LaRue's two-out single to left drove in Rich Aurilia from second for a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.Wilson's RBI single in the sixth scored Aurilia from third to make it3-0.
Roger Clemens was honored for his seventh Cy Young Award in a pregame ceremony. The club presented him with a portrait of himself, two plane tickets anywhere in the world, a pair of custom-made cowboy boots and 7,000 Astros tickets for him to distribute to needy children through the Clemens Foundation.
Clemens said he would hang the Cy Young plaque at Minute Maid Park for fans to see this season. ... Houston was the only team in the majors without a home run coming in. ... Lane's error was the Astros first of the season leaving the Reds as the only team in the majors without an error.