A rare blown save by Aroldis Chapman continued a slightly frustrating stretch for the Cincinnati Reds.
Fortunately for them, wins are common with Bronson Arroyo on the mound recently.
Arroyo looks to win his fifth straight decision Saturday night when the Reds continue their series against the visiting Houston Astros.
Cincinnati has a comfortable lead in the NL Central, so losing four of six isn't much of a concern, even with the defeats coming against a pair of teams with losing records in Houston and Philadelphia.
The Reds (83-56) looked to be in line for the win Friday before suffering a 5-3 loss as Chapman served up a three-run homer to Matt Dominguez in the ninth for his fifth blown save and first since June 24.
"He showed he's not perfect," manager Dusty Baker said. "He's been as near perfect as anybody for the last two months.
"It was just their night."
In his second game back after missing 48 because of torn cartilage in his left knee, Joey Votto flied out and drew three walks, one of them intentional.
Despite losing two of the last three meetings, Cincinnati is still 9-4 against Houston this year. The Reds haven't lost three straight overall since a five-game skid Aug. 5-9.
Cincinnati has to feel good with Arroyo (11-7, 3.76 ERA) on the mound, especially since he's posted a 0.84 ERA in winning his last four home starts against the Astros.
Arroyo didn't receive a decision Sunday in a 5-3 win at Houston after surrendering one run and three hits over six innings. He had won his previous four starts with a 2.86 ERA.
The right-hander is 7-1 over his last nine outings, eight of which the Reds have won.
Cincinnati will try to provide him with some support after averaging 2.5 runs in six games this month while hitting .179 (7 for 39) with runners in scoring position.
However, the Reds could be short-handed again Saturday. Scott Rolen and Zack Cozart sat out Friday with back injuries while Drew Stubbs, who is hitting .143 over his last 12 games, was given the night off.
Houston (43-95) will try to win its second road series of the season and first since taking two of three from the Chicago White Sox in June. Justin Maxwell also homered Friday, his second in four games after failing to go deep in his previous 17 contests.
Bud Norris (5-11, 4.80) would certainly appreciate the support as he tries to end a 16-start winless streak. He's 0-10 with a 5.90 ERA since beating the Cubs on May 21.
Norris did not receive a decision opposite Arroyo on Sunday despite striking out six over six scoreless innings while scattering three hits. The Astros have averaged 2.2 runs in his last 16 starts.
"I really have no comment on that, unfortunately," said Norris, who is 0-9 with an 8.12 ERA in his past 11 outings on the road. "There's nothing I can say about it."
The right-hander has failed to earn a win versus Cincinnati this season despite posting a 0.69 ERA in two matchups - both losses for Houston. He was 0-2 with a 7.23 ERA over his first four starts against the Reds.
The Associated Press News Service
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