Astros 10, Reds 1
HOUSTON (AP) _ Derrick May followed a bench-clearing brawl with a grand slam in the seventh inning Tuesday night and the Houston Astros snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Cincinnati Reds in convincing style with a 10-1 victory.
A series of bench-clearing incidents, starting when Reds reliever Xavier Hernandez threw inside to Brian Hunter in the sixth, eventually led to the ejections of Hernandez, Ron Gant, Lenny Harris and manager Davey Johnson of the Reds and Pat Borders, Doug Drabek and manager Terry Collins of the Astros.
The most serious confrontation came in the bottom of the seventh when Hernandez hit Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell on the arms with consecutive pitches, clearing both benches for a lengthy fight.
Hernandez was ejected then along with Harris and Johnson.
After John Cangelosi struck out, Dave Magadan was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out.
May then hit his first career home run over the right field fence, extending Houston’s lead to 8-1 and ending Cincinnati’s bid to sweep an opponent for the season for the first time since 1900.
Tempers first erupted in the sixth when Hernandez threw inside to Hunter, causing both teams to charge onto the field but no punches were thrown.
As the top of the seventh was about to start, Gant came to the plate and before any pitches were thrown, he and catcher Borders got into a free-swinging fight and both were ejected.
Drabek (8-8), who had held Cincinnati to three hits over seven innings, was ejected in the eighth for hitting Reds catcher Benito Santiago with a pitch. Collins was ejected along with his starter.
Mike Simms gave Houston the early lead with a three-run homer in the third off Frank Viola (0-1). Hunter and Biggio singled and after Hunter was caught stealing, Bagwell was intentionally walked. Simms followed with his sixth homer.
Borders singled with two outs in the sixth and scored on a single by Drabek.
May drove in his fifth run in the eighth with a single and Hunter also scored in the inning on a passed ball by Santiago.
Bret Boone doubled to start the third inning, and scored one out later on a single by Darren Lewis.
Notes: Donne Wall, the Pacific Coast League player of the year, will make his first major league start for the Astros on Wednesday night. ... The Astros have recalled catcher Rick Wilkins from his four-game rehab assignment in Triple A Tuscon. Wilkins has been out since July 5 and underwent back surgery. ... The Reds will activate John Smiley to start Wednesday’s game. Smiley (11-2) has been out since Aug. 21 with a strained left groin.