Paul Janish was born in Houston, went to Cypress Creek High School, played at Rice University and still lives in the city, so, of course, the infielder enjoys playing in front of family and friends. Unfortunately, Janish was unable to do so Monday, as an ankle sprain kept him out of of his third consecutive game. Janish said the ankle felt better than it had in previous days and is hopeful he can return during the series at Minute Maid Park. "I have a more vested interest since this is home," Janish said. "But at the same time, we do have a lot of season left, so we don't want to do anything crazy. There's no doubt there's some emotion involved in terms of getting on the field in Houston." Reds infielder Juan Francisco (strained left calf) was sent to Triple-A Louisville on Monday to begin a rehab assignment. Astros: No set closer
The Astros are without their regular closer, Brandon Lyon, who is on the disabled list. Houston didn't need a closer in Monday's 6-1 loss, but if they did, it would have been right-hander Mark Melancon. As for who will get the ball in a potential save situation on Tuesday, manager Brad Mills wasn't ready to commit. "We're still kind of going through a process," Mills said before Monday's loss. "I'm not trying to dodge the question, but we might have to mix some things around and depending on what part of the lineup we're with and so on and so forth. There's no reason to think we're not going to be able to get some outs before we get to Mark either." With his 2-for-4 night on Monday, Hunter Pence extended his hitting streak to 13 games. He's hitting .352 during that stretch. Worth noting
The Reds and Astros are both in long stretches of playing division rivals. Houston is 6-10 during its stretch of 18 games against National League Central opponents, while the Reds are 5-2 in their stretch of 16 straight. Monday's game was the first of a six-game homestand for Houston at Minute Maid Park, where the Astros are 7-10 this season. Following this series, Houston and Cincinnati will get a break from one another, as the two teams don't meet again until Aug. 1-3 in Houston.