HOUSTON – Drew Stubbs isn’t where he wants to be despite returning from the disabled list almost a month ago.
The Cincinnati center fielder hopes Tuesday’s performance is an indication that things are starting to come together.
Stubbs hit a go-ahead homer and the Reds rallied for three runs in the ninth inning against former teammate Francisco Cordero, beating the Houston Astros 4-2 and tying their longest winning streak of the season at six.
The National League Central-leading Reds sent Houston to its eighth straight loss.
Stubbs has struggled to get going since a stint on the disabled list in June with a strained left oblique.
“It’s a process,” he said. “It’s not an overnight thing. I think you have to string together a few weeks to really get to feeling good, and this is a start. Hopefully, I can climb back to where I need to be.”
Cordero got his first save chance since being acquired from Toronto last week. Stubbs hit a two-run homer for a 3-2 lead, and Xavier Paul added an RBI single.
The Reds are relying on a handful of players to pick up the slack while star Joey Votto is out for a month recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker thinks Stubbs can be someone to help fill the void.
“Boy, I would just love to see him get going. It would make it a lot easier,” Baker said.
Zack Cozart singled with one out in the Reds ninth, and Stubbs hit his 10th home run for a 3-2 lead. Jay Bruce drew a two-out walk, moved up on a wild pitch and, after Scott Rolen walked, Paul singled in another run.
Houston fans weren’t impressed with their first look at Cordero (3-6), who received a chorus of boos from the paltry crowd. Astros rookie starter Lucas Harrell allowed seven hits and a run in seven innings.