Dietrich and Votto
Cincinnati Reds' Derek Dietrich (22) celebrates with Joey Votto (19) after hitting a two-run home run off Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Jesse Winker and Derek Dietrich homered off Justin Verlander in the first inning Tuesday night, and the Cincinnati Reds held on for a 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros that clinched their first series win in nearly a month.

By taking the first two games, the Reds won a series for the first time since May 24-26, when they took two of three from the Cubs. The Astros hadn’t dropped a series since April 29-May 2.

The Reds quickly got to Verlander (9-3), who hadn’t allowed a pair of homers in one inning all season. Winker connected on Verlander’s fourth pitch, the third leadoff homer allowed by the right-hander this season. Joey Votto’s double and Dietrich’s first homer since May 28 made it 3-0.

Kyle Farmer added a homer in the seventh off Verlander, who has given up three homers in each of his last two starts. Verlander went seven innings and struck out eight.

Anthony DeSclafani (4-3) pitched into the sixth inning and remained unbeaten in June. He gave up six hits, including Yordan Alvarez’s RBI double with one out in the sixth that cut it to 3-1 and ended his outing. Alex Bregman hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Amir Garrett.

Closer Raisel Iglesias was used in a setup role again, fanning two in the eighth. Michael Lorenzen retired the side in order in the ninth for his second straight save and fourth overall.

The Astros stranded 10 batters — six in scoring position — while also losing the series opener 4-3. They stranded five in scoring position Tuesday and had three double plays that scuttled rallies.

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