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Astros Looking For Two In A Row Against D'Backs

(Sports Network) – Losing to the worst team in the majors can weigh heavily on any club and the Arizona Diamondbacks became the latest victim last night.

The D’Backs vie to bounce back Tuesday in the second installment of a four- game series versus the lowly Houston Astros from Chase Field. They were hammered by a 9-1 score and outhit, 16-4, in Monday’s opener of this series and starting pitcher Daniel Hudson shouldered the blame for allowing seven runs — four earned — and 11 hits in only three innings of work.

“I’ve got to give Houston credit, they swung the bats well,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. “Daniel missed some of his pitches.”

Henry Blanco provided the offense with a solo home run in the seventh inning for Arizona, which has lost four of five games and fell to 1-3 on a 10-game homestand. The ballclub also remained a half-game behind San Francisco for the NL West lead after the Giants were beaten by Pittsburgh last night.

Arizona will host the Mets on this residency and hopes Jason Marquis will have a better showing in his second start with the club this evening. Marquis was acquired from Washington and made his Arizona debut in an 8-1 loss at San Francisco last Wednesday. He allowed eight runs — seven earned — and 10 hits in four innings to suffer his second straight loss and fourth in five tries.

Marquis went 8-5 with a 3.95 ERA in 20 starts with the Nationals and defeated Houston in a recent 5-2 victory on July 18. The righty struck out nine batters and limited the Astros to a pair of runs in eight innings, improving to 10-8 with a 5.33 ERA in 30 career games (25 starts) in this matchup.

The Astros have the worst record in the big leagues at 38-77, but were able to snap a three-game losing streak with an offensive outburst led by J.D. Martinez, who went 2-for-4 with a homer, three RBI and three runs scored. Jose Altuve collected three hits and scored three times, while Jimmy Paredes and Carlos Corporan ended with two hits and two RBI apiece.

Wandy Rodriguez evened his record at 8-8 on the season by tossing six scoreless innings with five strikeouts and four walks. The left-hander had a 9-0 lead before exiting the game.

“He was struggling to find that rhythm, and he did in the fourth inning,” Astros manager Brad Mills said of Rodriguez. “When you have a lead like that, you’d like him to attack. That was part of the rhythm. He wanted to and in a perfect world he would be able to attack. But that was the frustrating thing for him, that he was having trouble doing that.”

Houston will visit Los Angeles for three games after its series in the desert and will hand the ball to Jordan Lyles tonight. Lyles earned his first major league win in a 5-4 decision over Cincinnati last Wednesday and limited the Reds to three runs in seven innings of work. He is now 1-6 in 12 starts and lowered his ERA from 4.41 to 4.36.

Lyles, a right-hander, has never faced the Diamondbacks and is 0-3 with a 4.75 ERA in six road assignments this season.

Arizona swept a three-game series with Houston from May 27-29 at Minute Maid Park and has won 11 of the past 15 matchups in this series.

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