Berkman Leads Surging Astros

2-run first inning HR keys 5-3 win over Reds
By Chip Bayers,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2008 5:59 PM CDT
Berkman Leads Surging Astros
Houston Astros closer Jose Valverde (47) high-fives catcher J.R. Towles after they defeated the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 in a baseball game, Thursday, April 24, 2008, in Cincinnati.    (AP Photo/Tony Tribble)

Lance Berkman hit his 18th homer at Great American Ball Park—the most by any visiting player—and drove in three runs Thursday, leading the Houston Astros to their fifth straight win, 5-3 over the Cincinnati Reds. Berkman had a two-run homer and a run-scoring double off rookie Johnny Cueto (1-2), whose 96 mph fastball wasn't enough to slow the Astros' surging offense or get the Reds out of their slump.  

The Astros haven't done this well in a whole year. Houston's last five-game winning streak was April 16-20 last season. Its offense has led the way, scoring 41 runs during the streak. Even right-hander Jack Cassel (1-0) got involved, adding a run-scoring single for his first career RBI.  (Read more Houston Astros stories.)

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