Al Behrman, Associated Press
CINCINNATI — Homer Bailey returned from the disabled list with six strong innings Thursday, and Ryan Hanigan drove in three runs with a three-hit game, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 10-4 victory over the Houston Astros.
Bailey (1-0) developed a shoulder problem during spring training, forcing him to go on a throwing program. The right-hander gave up only four hits and one run in six innings, striking out seven — an encouraging return for the defending NL Central champs.
The Reds scored six runs in 5 2-3 innings against Brett Myers (1-2), who failed to go six innings for only the second time in 40 career starts with the Astros. Myers also left after 5 2-3 innings of a 9-1 loss in Cincinnati last Sept. 30.
Fred Lewis hit his first career pinch-hit homer in the sixth for a 6-1 lead, ending Myers' outing. The six runs were a season-high off the right-hander.
The Astros rallied in the seventh against left-hander Aroldis Chapman, who walked a batter with the bases loaded and gave up Hunter Pence's two-run single that cut it to 6-4. Jay Bruce homered during the Reds' four-run eighth off Nelson Figueroa, who was demoted to the bullpen last week.
Bailey got a chance to return on Thursday after the opening game of the series was rained out, forcing the teams to make it up on what was supposed to be their day off. Originally, Bailey was scheduled to complete his rehab assignment at Class-A Dayton on Thursday. The schedule change allowed him to pitch for the Reds instead of the Dragons.
The Reds have played the whole season without starters Bailey and Johnny Cueto, who developed shoulder problems during spring. They hope to get going when their rotation is back intact. Cueto is scheduled to come off the disabled list Sunday in Chicago.
Joey Votto opened the fourth with a single off Myers, keeping him the only major leaguer to reach base safely in every game this season. His 31-game streak is three shy of Dave Collins' franchise mark from 1981. The Reds went on to load the bases, and Hanigan singled for a 3-0 lead.
Before the game, the Astros sent closer Brandon Lyon back to Houston for tests on his right shoulder, which has a cyst. Lyon failed to retire any of the five batters he faced during a 3-2 loss on Wednesday, his fourth blown save in eight chances.
Houston played all three games without outfielder Carlos Lee, who bruised ribs on Sunday in a collision with shortstop Angel Sanchez. He worked out Thursday and could be back soon.
NOTES: Pence extended his hitting streak to a season-high nine games. ... 2B Bill Hall was ejected by plate umpire Tom Hallion after he struck out in the sixth and said something while walking away. ... Astros minor league OF/1B Telvin Nash will have surgery next week on a broken hamate bone in his left hand, sidelining him for six weeks. The third-round draft pick in 2009 is playing at Class-A Lexington. ... The Reds optioned RHP reliever Jordan Smith to Triple-A Louisville to open a roster spot for Bailey.
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