CINCINNATI -- Every time Sam LeCure gets a start for the Reds, he seems to be opposed by a No. 1-type starter. It happened four straight times last season when he faced Chris Carpenter, Matt Cain, Zack Greinke and Felix Hernandez. It happened in two spring starts against Carlos Zambrano and Tim Lincecum. And it happened Thursday when he faced Astros No. 1 starter Brett Myers. "I keep telling myself, 'One of these days ...'" LeCure said.
LeCure more than held his own for a five-inning no-decision, a game the Reds lost, 3-2. He allowed two earned runs and three hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Both runs scored on groundouts. LeCure, who did not join the rotation until near the end of camp and wasn't totally stretched out, threw 84 pitches. "I was getting tired towards the end," LeCure said. "I've got trust in [manager] Dusty [Baker] and [pitching coach] Bryan [Price] that they're going to do the right thing by me and protect me in that regard. I was just going to give it all I had until they thought it was time." Leading off the Houston fourth inning, Carlos Lee skied a long drive to the warning track in right-center field. Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce converged before Stubbs yielded to avoid a collision. The ball missed Bruce's outstretched glove near the wall for a triple. Lee scored on Brett Wallace's routine groundout to shortstop. "There were a couple of times I got a little bit complacent out there, and I think that cost us," LeCure said. "The first pitch to Lee that he hit into the gap was a get-me-over fastball. I didn't have a whole lot behind it. He took advantage and did what good hitters do. A couple of walks was me being kind of lazy."