(Sports Network) – Although they have been inconsistent lately, the Arizona Diamondbacks still can’t catch a break in the National League West standings.
An Arizona win tonight against the Houston Astros in the third portion of a four-game series at Chase Field coupled by a San Francisco Giants loss would put the Diamondbacks a half-game ahead of the defending World Series champions in the division.
The D’Backs have won two of three since a three-game slide and improved to 10-6 in their last 16 games with Tuesday’s 11-9 come-from-behind victory over the Astros. They survived another shaky start from Jason Marquis and rallied from a 7-1 deficit, receiving a big night from Justin Upton, who went 3-for-5 with a home run, four RBI and three runs scored. Gerardo Parra had four hits, Miguel Montero knocked in three runs and Willie Bloomquist scored three times.
“Obviously things didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to,” Marquis said. “But the team battled, got a big win, picked me up. I just have to do a better job of putting hitters away when I control the count.”
Arizona scored four runs in both the fifth and sixth innings, while Micah Owings allowed one run in three innings of relief to earn the win. David Hernandez worked a scoreless eighth and J.J. Putz notched his 27th save despite allowing three hits and a run in the ninth.
The D’Backs are 2-3 on a 10-game homestand and will host the New York Mets for a three-game set over the weekend. Taking the ball tonight for the hosts will be rookie Josh Collmenter, who has dropped back-to-back starts and is 6-7 with a 3.58 ERA in 22 games (15 starts). Collmenter, a righty, lasted a career-low 2 1/3 innings in Friday’s 7-4 loss to the Dodgers and gave up six runs and eight hits.
“I knew [the Dodgers] were an aggressive team and they swing at a lot of stuff, so it was kind of a bad combination of them being aggressive and me not really being able to hit some spots,” Collmenter said. “If I could make a few better pitches — some of those blooped through or found some holes — maybe those are outs instead of them getting enough of the barrel on it to get hits.”
Collmenter is 5-3 in 11 appearances at home and tossed six innings of two-run ball for a no-decision against Houston in a 4-2 win on May 29.
Houston won the opener of this series, 9-1, but dropped its fourth game in five tries last night. Brian Bogusevic belted a two-run homer and finished with three RBI, and both J.D. Martinez and Jimmy Paredes went deep for the Astros, who got three hits apiece from Bogusevic and Paredes. Humberto Quintero is riding a career-high nine-game hitting streak.
Rookie pitcher Jordan Lyles did not figure into the decision and was reached for seven runs and 12 hits in five innings. Wilton Lopez took the loss for giving up a two-run homer to Upton during a four-run sixth inning and Fernando Rodriguez permitted a pair of runs.
The Astros will head to Los Angeles for a three-game series with the Dodgers over the weekend and hope Henry Sosa can shake off the butterflies Wednesday in his major league debut. Sosa’s contract was purchased from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday and the right-hander was acquired from San Francisco in the Jeff Keppinger deal on July 19. He went 10-3 with a 4.53 earned run average in the minor leagues this season.
“I think he’s thrown the ball really well since we got him over,” Astros manager Brad Mills said on the team’s website. “It’s going to be interesting to see how he does pitch. The reports have been very good, or he wouldn’t get this opportunity.”
Arizona swept a three-game series with Houston from May 27-29 at Minute Maid Park and has won 12 of the past 16 matchups in this series.