Houston pinch hitter Harry Spilman hit a two-out, three-run homer in the ninth inning to rally the Astros to a 6-5 victory over the visiting Cincinnati Reds last night.
Jose Cruz led off the Houston ninth with a double off loser Tom Hume (0-1). After Ray Knight grounded out and Terry Puhl walked, Alan Ashby hit a fielder's choice grounder, forcing Puhl at second.
Spilman, pinch-hitting for reliever Bill Dawley (2-0), then delivered the game-winner with his shot over the right field fence.
The Reds had taken a 5-3 lead into the ninth with the help of a four-run first highlighted by Dan Driessen's two-run home run off Houston right-hander Joe Niekro. Niekro allowed three hits, committed one error and rookie catcher John Mizerock allowed one run to score on the first of three passed balls in the rough first inning.
Cesar Cedeno started the Cincinnati first with a double and Eddie Milner reached base on Niekro's error. Cedeno went to third base on Niekro's error and scored on Mizerock's passed ball. Johnny Bench's double to the warning track in right-center field scored Milner before Driessen's two-run homer over the right field fence.