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Astros Don't Even Compete In 11-3 Thrashing In Front Of Home Fans

Final Score: Arizona 11, Houston 3

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Zach Duke threw seven scoreless innings in his Diamondbacks debut and hit his first career homer, a three-run blast, to lead Arizona past Houston, 11-3, in the middle test of a three-game set.

Duke (1-0) allowed just three hits and a walk while fanning four in his first start of the season after recovering from a broken left hand he suffered on a line-drive comebacker in spring training. He was acquired in an offseason trade after pitching his first six MLB seasons with Pittsburgh.

Gerardo Parra also homered as the D-Backs earned their fifth consecutive win and their 11th victory in their past 12 games.

Bud Norris (2-4) allowed six runs -- two earned -- on seven hits and two walks in five innings as Houston lost for the third time in four games. Norris started in place of Wandy Rodriguez, who was put on the 15-day disabled list Saturday due to fluid in his left elbow joint.

Arizona jumped out to a two-run lead after loading the bases in the second inning with one out. Stephen Drew and Miguel Montero singled, and Juan Miranda walked to load the bases. Drew was awarded home on a balk by Norris and Parra brought home Montero on a sacrifice fly before Duke grounded out to end the inning.

Drew led off the fourth with a single and scored later on a double by Montero. After Miranda struck out swinging for the second out of the inning, Parra was intentionally walked for Duke, who smacked a home run over the left-field wall to give the D-Backs a 6-0 advantage.

Arizona added to its lead in the eighth against Jose Valdez. Montero singled in Chris Young after Young hit a one-out double and Parra added a two-run homer to give the D-Backs a nine-run lead.

Drew's RBI single and Young's sacrifice fly in the ninth made it 11-0.

Houston finally got on the board in the bottom of the ninth against Zach Kroenke, who was pitching his second inning of relief. Clint Barmes and Hunter Pence led off with consecutive singles before Carlos Lee doubled to plate Barmes. Chris Johnson then singled in Pence and Brett Wallace grounded out to score Lee.

Game Notes

The D-backs reinstated Duke from the 15-day disabled list and optioned pitcher Kam Mickolio to Triple-A Reno on Saturday...Pence extended his hit streak to nine games...The Diamondbacks have won 10 of their last 13 contests versus the Astros.

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