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HOU@CIN: Bailey fans seven Astros in six innings

The Reds have played 35 games this season, with seven of them coming against the Astros. Such is the way of life for teams bound to the decisions of schedule-makers, but Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker isn't complaining.

"You can't do anything about the schedule," said Baker, who also noted the Reds are already done playing the D-backs this season. "You'd rather spread it out. But you don't want to spread it out like we did a couple of years ago. I think we played Arizona the first week and ended up playing them the last month. And they had a totally different team than when we first saw them. Putting down a schedule is difficult to make it fair for everybody. I wouldn't want to do that."

So far the early matchups against the Astros have been good for the Reds, who, after Monday's 6-1 win in the series opener, are 5-2 against their division rival. Cincinnati also enters Tuesday's game having won five of its last six games and will send right-hander Homer Bailey (1-0, 1.50 ERA) to the mound to keep that stretch going.

Bailey is coming off his first start of the season after beginning the year on the disabled list with a right shoulder impingement. The 25-year-old made his debut against the Astros on May 5, holding them to one run on four hits in six innings, while also striking out seven.

Opposing Bailey will be Brett Myers (1-2, 4.47), setting up a rematch of that May 5 contest. In that outing, Myers took the loss -- his second straight -- and also failed to complete the sixth inning for only the second time as an Astro, the other also coming against Cincinnati on Sept. 30, 2010. Five days ago, Myers lasted only 5 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on nine hits.

"I didn't feel real comfortable out there. I felt like everything I threw, they knew it was coming," Myers said afterward. "They probably didn't, but it just kind of felt that way. It's one of those days you want to forget, but you've got to go get them next time."

Reds: Janish hoping for Houston return
• 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. Comments