July 3, 1976 at Riverfront Stadium
Reds 9, Astros 8 (47-21)
The Reds finally figured out the Astros, but the game definitely had its difficulties. The Astros had the lead three different times and the Reds had it three times as well in a back and forth affair.
Rookie starter Santo Alcala got off to a bad start by giving up a run in the top of the first. The Reds answered in the bottom of the inning when Johnny Bench drove home Pete Rose with a sac. fly and Joe Morgan scored on a wild pitch.
The Astros took the lead back and shelled Alcala again. He gave up three runs on three hits and even stranded a batter at third base. The Astros added a run in the third, and that was it for Alcala as Sparky went to the pen and brought in Will McEnaney.
The Reds cut into the lead in the bottom of the third when Ken Griffey drove home Pete Rose with a sac. fly. The Astros answered with a run in the top of the fifth, but in the bottom of the fifth, the Reds broke the game open. Bob Bailey hit a huge three run shot to give the Reds a 7-6 lead.
The Astros answered in the top of the sixth as the notched another run off of McEnaney. They took the lead in the top of the seventh by scoring an unearned run off of Rawly Eastwick.
In the bottom of the seventh, Johnny Bench led off with a solo homer to tie the game up. Then in the bottom of the eighth, Johnny Bench reached first on Enos Cabell’s error and Ken Griffey scampered home to give the Reds the lead for good.
Pedro Borbon ended up the winner. He pitched two perfect innings to close out the game and he improved to 2-1 on the season.