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Downs leads Astros past Reds

Downs leads Astros past Reds

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CINCINNATI -- Matt Downs hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and the Houston Astros beat the slumping Cincinnati Reds 3-2 on Monday night.

Downs greeted Nick Masset (3-6) with a 362-foot leadoff drive to left, sending the Astros their second straight win after a three-game losing streak.

Brandon Phillips hit a leadoff homer in the first for Cincinnati, which has lost four straight.

Six Houston pitchers combined for a four-hitter. Cincinnati collected 13 hits while being swept by Milwaukee in a weekend series.

Rookie David Carpenter (1-3) picked up his first career win by getting Phillips to ground into an inning-ending forceout with runners on first and second in the seventh. Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for his 19th save.

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