While the Reds are still trying to continue a stretch of 11 wins in 14 games that has landed them atop the National League Central, the Astros are again looking to snap an eight-game losing skid in Sunday's series finale.
Cincinnati righty Bronson Arroyo will head to the mound looking to continue not only his team's streak, but one of his own. In his past nine starts against Houston, Arroyo has pitched three complete games, posting an 8-0 record with a 1.70 ERA.
A return to that form would be a welcome shift from his last start Monday, when Arroyo gave up four runs on eight hits in just four innings to take a loss against Pittsburgh.
"I definitely didn't have the greatest of stuff today, but that happens probably 10-12 times a year," Arroyo said after the game.
On the other end, Astros starter Jordan Lyles will be trying to buck Houston's eight-game losing streak and right a pitching staff that has given up 8.4 runs per game during that stretch.
Lyles was sent down to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday, but will be called up for the fourth time this season Sunday. Lyles' last start with Houston came Monday, when he gave up six runs (four earned) in five innings to take a loss at Colorado. While it was a solid effort for a righty who has posted a 5.73 ERA in four starts this season, Lyles was not satisfied.
"There's no excuses for not putting up zeros," Lyles said after the start.
Given Arroyo's recent history against Houston, it could take a lot of zeros to right the ship Sunday.
Reds: Votto's home away from home
Joey Votto went 4-for-4 with a two-run home run Saturday, extending his hit streak at Houston's Minute Maid Park to 20 games.
In 32 career games at Minute Maid, Votto is hitting .426 with five home runs and 23 RBIs. The .426 mark is his second highest at any stadium, trailing his .583 (7-for-12) average at the old Yankee Stadium.
Drew Stubbs scored three times in Saturday's win, moving the Reds record to 24-1 when he scores a run.
Astros: Martinez notches hit in debut
Fernando Martinez started in an Astros uniform for the first time Saturday and hit a two-run double in the third inning.
Martinez was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday and started in right field, filling the void created by Travis Buck's move to the 15-day disabled list due to right Achilles' tendinitis.
Jed Lowrie hit a two-run home run in the first inning, moving him into first place among National League shortstops with nine this season.
Over the past six games, the Astros have been outscored 20-4 in the first inning.