Bronson Arroyo was outstanding in his 7.0 innings (7h, 1r, 2bb, 5k) and Jay Bruce (#33) and Brandon Phillips (#16) both homered as the Reds defeated the Astros Saturday night, 5-1.

Arroyo improves to 12-7 overall, 8-1 in his last 10 starts (3.03era) and 5-0 over his last 6 starts (2.40era).  Tonight marked his 229th start as a Red, placing him in 11th place on the club’s all-time list.  He’s now also in 11th place on the club’s all-time strikeout list with 971k.

Bruce’s 2nd inning home run off Bud Norris, gives the Reds rightfielder 33 homers on the year – a new season high for him.  Bruce is red-hot, homering in 6 of his last 8 games while riding a current 8-game hitting streak.

Phillips’ 3rd inning solo shot snapped a 1-1 tie.  27 of his 72 RBI have come with the game tied (55-for-160, .344).

Reds rookie Henry Rodriguez tonight collected his first Major League hit, a pinch-hit single in the 8th.

The series rubber match with the Astros is scheduled for Sunday at 1:10pm.  Johnny Cueto will oppose Edgar Gonzalez.

With tonight’s Reds win and the Cardinals loss to the Brewers, Cincinnati stretches its first-place lead in the NL Central to 9.5 games.  From here on out, any combination of Reds wins and/or Cardinals losses totaling 14 will make the Redlegs the 2012 NL Central Division Champions.


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