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SF@HOU: Norris fans seven before exiting with injury

Astros right-hander Bud Norris is searching for his first win since May 21 -- a span of 15 starts -- but that doesn't mean Sunday's game at Minute Maid Park will be easy for the visiting Reds.

In nine home starts this season, Norris is 3-1 with a 2.09 ERA -- the best home ERA in the National League.

The Reds got a good sample of Norris' dominance in Houston on July 25, when he tossed seven innings of one-run ball. But Houston's bullpen ultimately collapsed over the final two innings in the 5-3 win for Cincinnati.

Norris held the visiting Giants to one run over 6 2/3 innings on Tuesday before a blister on his right middle finger forced him to leave the game. Wilson Lopez blew the save in the ninth inning in a 3-2 Giants win.

It was Norris' fourth injury-shorted start this season -- he left his Aug. 15 start against the Cubs with a bruised foot, his June 12 start vs. the Giants with a sprained left knee and his May 13 start in Colorado with a strained hip flexor.

"I've had it on and off in my career," Norris said of the blister. "It's going to be OK. I've just got to manage it. It's something I've dealt with. It kind of came in the second and third inning, and it really starting hampering me later in the game, and I think they made the right move by [taking me out] right there."

Bronson Arroyo will take the hill for the Reds riding a hot streak -- the right-hander is 4-0 with a 2.86 ERA over his last four starts and 7-1 with a 3.44 ERA over his last eight.

Arroyo held the D-backs to two runs over six innings in the Reds' 3-2 win on Monday, scattering just five hits and striking out three. He also homered in the sixth inning, a hit that proved to be the game-winner.

"Things are kind of working out a little bit," Arroyo said after that start. "I've been feeling good, but I've been feeling good all year. Early on I just didn't get some breaks or some runs in key situations. Lately I'm getting runs late in the game when you need them to give you a chance to hold the lead and give it to the bullpen. Sometimes things just have to fall into place, and they've been falling into place the last six weeks."

Astros: Laird picked up off waivers
The Astros picked up Brandon Laird off waivers from the Yankees on Saturday. The 24-year-old infielder will report with the team in time for Sunday afternoon's game with the Reds.

Laird hit 15 homers and 31 doubles, and drove in 77 runs over 130 games this season with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate. He has hit 20-plus homers twice over six Minor League seasons.

He has appeared in 11 Major League games (six starts), all in 2011, all for the Yankees.

Reds: Four called up
The Reds officially recalled four players on Saturday -- reliever Logan Ondrusek, infielders Didi Gregorius and Henry Rodriguez, and outfielder Denis Phipps -- but don't expect them to get any extended playing time.

With Cincinnati in the hunt for a division title, manager Dusty Baker won't be mixing anything up in order to give the callups as much on-field experience as possible.

"We're going for a pennant here," Baker said.

Regardless of playing time, Baker said that the experience of being around a Major League club is still important.

"It's a great time to learn how to play, where to play and notice mistakes," he said. "If you pay attention, you learn a lot. They're all pretty attentive young men. I explained to them some of the perils of being in the big leagues versus in the Minor Leagues."

Worth noting
• The Astros will celebrate the 85th birthday of Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton -- in his 59th and final season as a Major League broadcaster -- with a pregame ceremony on Sunday. In addition, 10,000 fans will receive a Milo Hamilton bobblehead. Comments