CINCINNATI (AP) — A storm delay left both starters struggling to regain their touch. Luis Castillo did better handling the challenge.
Castillo pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning, Nick Senzel returned from an eye injury and drove in a pair of runs, and the Cincinnati Reds held on for a 3-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Monday night.
The game was delayed 52 minutes in the bottom of the third inning because of a storm, and a double rainbow formed as the skies cleared. Both starters returned and wound up with season highs in walks.
Castillo (7-1) walked a career-high six but allowed only a pair of singles before leaving with two on and no outs in the seventh. Shortstop Jose Peraza’s throwing error let in a run in the seventh, and Michael Brantley doubled home another.
“He’s got really good stuff, a great changeup,” said Astros shortstop Alex Bregman, who struck out twice against Castillo. “He was mixing and matching.”
Reds manager David Bell wouldn’t have brought Castillo back had the storm lasted much longer. Castillo rested for a half-hour and started getting ready to pitch again.
“I think I controlled the game after that,” Castillo said.
Astros starter Wade Miley (6-4) didn’t fare so well. He walked three in the fifth inning, setting up a three-run rally. Senzel singled home two, and Eugenio Suarez’s single completed the rally. Senzel was back in the lineup after missing a game with an eye injury. He fouled a pitch that bounced and hit him just above the left eye on Saturday, requiring three stitches.
Miley gave up four hits and a season-high four walks in 4 1/3 innings as he took his first loss in June.
“He stayed loose,” manager AJ Hinch said. “It does disrupt it a little bit.”
Bell closed it with an unorthodox move. He brought in closer Raisel Iglesias in the eighth, and he escaped a threat when Tony Kemp grounded out with runners on second and third.
Iglesias hadn’t pitched in six days and wasn’t as sharp, so Bell replaced him with a runner aboard and one out in the ninth. Michael Lorenzen got the last two outs and his third save.
“He can be dominant,” Bell said of Iglesias. “He wasn’t as dominant tonight.”
Iglesias said he wasn’t surprised by Bell’s move.
“My command wasn’t good because I had gone a few days without pitching,” he said.
The Reds got the better of a reunion of once-familiar foes that rarely play each other anymore. Houston’s 845 all-time games against Cincinnati are by far its most against any opponent. The Astros are visiting Cincinnati for the first time since 2012. They’re 40-36 all-time at Great American Ball Park.
Second baseman Scooter Gennett began a rehab assignment Monday, going 0 for 2 with a walk at Class A Daytona. He’s recovering from a severe groin injury in spring training that has sidelined him all season. Gennett was the Reds’ top hitter over the last two seasons.
Kyle Farmer’s grounder down the third base line deflected off umpire Marvin Hudson, who couldn’t get out of the way. Farmer got a single.
The Astros are 3-3 in interleague play this season. The Reds are 4-5. They haven’t had a winning record against the AL since 2013.
Castillo is the first Reds pitcher to have seven starts with at least five innings, two or fewer hits, and two or fewer runs allowed.
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Hinch started Josh Reddick in center field for the first time this season, shuffling his lineup to try to get more offense against Castillo. It was his 26th career start in center, his first since 2017.
Astros: Outfielder George Springer took live batting practice Monday, his next step in recovering from a strained left hamstring.
Reds: Left-hander Alex Wood will throw batting practice Tuesday and again over the weekend. If he comes through it without issue, he’ll start a rehab assignment next week. Wood has been sidelined since spring training with a back injury.
Astros: Justin Verlander (9-2) is 1-0 in three June starts with a 2.95 ERA. He allowed two runs in six innings of his only career start against the Reds.
Reds: Anthony DeSclafani (3-3) is 1-0 in two June starts with a 1.69 ERA. He’s never faced the Astros.
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