clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Happ, Astros Go For Series Win Against Diamondbacks

(Sports Network) - Newly-minted Astro lefty J.A. Happ can make it five wins in seven decisions with Houston today when they visit Chase Field to close out a three-game weekend series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Arizona won Friday's opener, 4-3, but Houston took game two after Carlos Lee hit the game-winning three-run home run in the eighth inning and drove in four to cap a 6-5 come-from-behind win. Lee finished 2-for-4 while Jeff Keppinger also went 2-for-4 and scored twice for the Astros, who have won four of five.

Mark Melancon (2-0) tossed a scoreless inning to grab the win in relief and Brandon Lyon stranded the potential tying run at third base in the bottom of the ninth to earn his 12th save of the season for Houston, which defeated the hosts for just a second time in their last 10 meetings.

Aaron Heilman (5-6) continued the D'Backs' year-long bullpen implosion by coughing up a three-run lead.

He suffered the loss after allowing four runs on four hits while recording just two outs for the Diamondbacks, who fell for only a second time in their last nine contests overall.

Arizona starter Joe Saunders yielded a pair of runs on three hits while walking two and fanning four in seven innings, turning a 5-2 lead over to Heilman.

Happ, a native of Spring Valley, Ill., was a surprise rookie star for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009 and won 12 games while helping them to a second straight National League championship. He began 2010 with Philadelphia and was 1-0 in three starts before heading to Houston in the trade that sent veteran ace Roy Oswalt to the Phillies.

Happ won his first start with his new team on July 30 and is 4-2 with the Astros overall, including a complete-game gem over St. Louis on Aug. 30 in which he allowed just two hits, walked one and struck out four in a 3-0 victory.

The 27-year-old is 18-7 in 54 big-league outings.

He'll be opposed by veteran Arizona righty Rodrigo Lopez, who'll make the 194th start of a career that began with San Diego in 2000. Lopez won 15 games with Baltimore in both 2002 and 2005 and lost a league-high 18 times with the Orioles in 2006 before pitching for Colorado, Philadelphia and now the Diamondbacks since the beginning of 2007.

He and Happ were teammates with the Phillies last year, when Lopez was 3-1 in seven appearances with a 5.70 earned run average.

The 34-year-old Mexican is winless in nine starts since defeating Florida, 10-4, on July 8. In his last outing, on Aug. 29 at San Francisco, he gave up eight hits and five runs in just four innings of a 9-7 defeat.

Arizona has now won four of six meetings with the Astros this season.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.