Rookie left-hander Andrew Abbott continued an unblemished start to his career while Tyler Stephenson homered in a two-run seventh inning as the visiting Cincinnati Reds edged the host Houston Astros 2-1 on Friday night
Abbott (3-0) twirled six shutout innings, allowing four hits and two walks with two strikeouts as the Reds won their sixth straight game. He retired the first six batters he faced and then proved especially resilient with runners on base, stranding six over his final four innings including a pair in scoring position
Abbott allowed only one leadoff batter to reach base, Jeremy Pena with an infield single to open the third inning.
Abbott then stranded two baserunners in the fourth and worked around a spot of trouble in the fifth when he induced a pair of flyball outs to close that frame following a Chas McCormick one-out single and a walk to nine-hole hitter Martin Maldonado.
Abbott recorded his final out when Yainer Diaz drilled a fastball 411 feet to straightaway center field with an exit velocity of 108.6 miles per hour. TJ Friedl made a running catch at the wall.
Abbott produced his third scoreless outing in as many starts and is the first major league pitcher in at least 130 years to do so. He extended his scoreless streak to 17 2/3 innings, the longest such streak to begin a career in franchise history dating back to 1893.
Astros rookie right-hander J.P. France (2-2) matched Abbott for six innings but did not survive the seventh. He had just 69 pitches on his ledger entering the seventh but lost his scoreless start when Stephenson drilled a 2-2 slider 357 feet into the left-field seats. His fifth homer of the season gave the Reds a 1-0 lead
France followed by issuing his only walk despite getting ahead 0-2 on Will Benson, a late addition to the starting lineup. Benson later scored from first base on a Kevin Newman double that ricocheted off the manual scoreboard in left and past left fielder Mauricio Dubon.
Jose Abreu doubled and scored off Reds closer Alexis Diaz in the ninth, but Diaz converted his 18th save by retiring pinch hitter Corey Julks, who represented the winning run
–Field Level Media