The Cincinnati Reds are making Manager Jack McKeon's job easy these days.
Steve Parris pitched seven innings of one-hit ball and Sean Casey had three hits yesterday afternoon, leading the visiting Reds to their sixth straight victory, 8-1 over the Houston Astros.
"They're all playing well right now," McKeon said. "You just stick the lineup out there and go hide [and] don't bother them."
Parris (5-1) allowed an infield single to Carl Everett in the first inning and an unearned run in the seventh as the Reds closed within one game of the first-place Astros in the National League Central. Parris walked five and struck out five.
"We've always been confident; we think that we can play," Parris said. "We're doing so well I don't want to analyze anything."
Stan Belinda and Gabe White finished the combined two-hitter, sending Houston to its fifth loss in six games.
"We were awful," said Astros interim manager Matt Galante. "We didn't hit, we didn't pitch and we didn't field."
Casey, who entered the game hitting .379, went 3 for 5 with two singles and a two-run homer off Scott Elarton in the seventh. The homer, his 16th of the season, gave the Reds a 7-0 lead.
The Astros wore rainbow jersey uniforms as part of a Turn Back the Clock promotion. The team wore the same uniforms from 1975 to '86. "It looks like somebody cut up the drapes and made shirts out of them," McKeon said.
DODGERS 7, GIANTS 6: Todd Hundley's second homer of the game, a three-run shot in the ninth off Robb Nen (3-2), helped visiting Los Angeles hand San Francisco its fifth loss in a row.
PADRES 13, ROCKIES 6: Playing at home, San Diego ran its winning streak to eight games by setting a team season high for runs scored. Five Colorado pitchers combined for 10 walks. San Diego starter Matt Clement (4-7) won his third straight start and Dave Magadan homered and drove in three runs. The Padres scored five runs on one hit, six walks and a wild pitch in the second inning to go up 7-2.
BREWERS 7, PIRATES 4: Hideo Nomo won his fifth straight decision as host Milwaukee won for the sixth time in seven games. Nomo (6-1) has not lost since May 16. Jeromy Burnitz hit his 20th homer for the Brewers. Kevin Young hit two home runs for Pittsburgh.
BRAVES 7, METS 2: In Atlanta, Tom Glavine (6-7) held New York to one run and four hits in seven innings to help the Braves push their lead in the National League East to three games over the Mets. Ryan Klesko hit a three-run homer in the first inning off Octavio Dotel, who was making his major league debut.
PHILLIES 6, CUBS 2: Sammy Sosa's 300th career home run was not enough to keep Philadelphia from winning on the road. Bobby Abreu and Rico Brogna each hit two-run homers in the first inning for the Phillies.
CARDINALS 2, DIAMONDBACKS 1: In Phoenix, Alberto Castillo's sacrifice fly brought home Edgar Renteria in the 10th inning to lift St. Louis over Arizona, which has lost six of seven. Mark McGwire left in the fourth inning with a sprained ankle. His status is day-to-day.
MARLINS 9, EXPOS 3: Mike Redmond hit a three-run double in the sixth and Ryan Dempster (4-3) held Montreal to three runs and seven hits over eight innings, enabling visiting Florida to stop a 10-game losing streak.
CAPTION: Houston pitcher Jose Lima throws souvenir soft baseballs to fans while wearing a 1970s-style uniform before Astros' game with Cincinnati. Though the Astros turned back the clock, they were unable to turn back the Reds.