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Astros-Diamondbacks Preview

Sep 5, 2010 - 6:00 AM Houston (62-72) at Arizona (56-79), 4:10 p.m. EDT

The surging Houston Astros got right back in the win column in their latest outing by ending the Arizona Diamondbacks' four-game winning streak. On Sunday, the Astros send red-hot J.A. Happ to the mound as they look to begin another run.

Carlos Lee's three-run homer in the eighth inning lifted Houston (63-72) to a 6-5 victory Saturday and denied Arizona its longest win streak of the season. Houston's bullpen continued its run of dominance, as four pitchers held the Diamondbacks scoreless over 4 1-3 innings.

Astros relievers have posted a 0.72 ERA over the last 12 games.

"Our bullpen was absolutely amazing again," said Houston manager Brad Mills, whose team has won 10 of 13 and rebounded after dropping the series opener 4-3 on Friday.

The relievers may not need to be nearly as good Sunday with Happ (5-2, 2.89 ERA) taking the mound. The left-hander pitched a two-hitter to beat St. Louis 3-0 on Monday, his third career shutout and third win in four starts.

"(Shutouts are) rare, but I'd like to make them more common," Happ told the team's official website. "This one felt good, for sure."

He has posted a 2.14 ERA in his last five outings. Happ lost his only start against the Diamondbacks (56-80) on July 29, 2009, pitching six innings of two-run ball but losing 4-0 while with Philadelphia.

While Happ has been at his best, Rodrigo Lopez (5-12, 5.24) is enduring his worst stretch of the season, going 0-5 with a 7.26 ERA over his last nine starts. The right-hander allowed five runs over four innings of a 9-7 defeat to San Francisco on Sunday, though he avoided the loss.

Lopez has gone 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA in three starts versus Houston. He gave up two runs in seven innings of a 4-2 defeat against the Astros on May 5 and didn't get a decision.

He'll try to continue his success against Lee, who has driven in 20 runs in his past 16 games. The Astros slugger has gone 2 for 16 with four strikeouts in his career versus Lopez.

While the Diamondbacks have won seven of nine, they will be looking for a better performance with runners in scoring position after going 3 for 15 on Saturday.

"We had many chances to put these guys away," manager Kirk Gibson said. "They hung around, and that's what happens in baseball."

Arizona's Adam LaRoche tied a career high by driving in his 90th run. The first baseman, who has 11 RBIs in his last six games, is 0 for 5 against Happ.

The Diamondbacks are hoping that outfielder Justin Upton can return after a three-game absence due to an ailing left shoulder. Upton is 2 for 3 with a home run against Happ.








  • Diamondbacks 2, Astros 3 - FINAL
    HOUSTON ab r h rbi bb so lob avg
    M Bourn cf 3 1 0 0 1 1 1 .255
    J Keppinger 2b 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 .285
    H Pence rf 4 1 2 3 0 1 0 .291
    C Lee lf 4 0 1 0 0 2 1 .247
    J Bourgeois lf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .243
    G Blum 3b 4 0 0 0 0 2 1 .253
    A S

    Sep 5 6:46 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Astros 3, Diamondbacks 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 5 5:54 PM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY KELLY JOHNSON (20) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 4TH OFF J.A. HAPP.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 3, ARIZONA 2
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: M REYNOLDS (.213, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros 3, Diamondbacks 2  Bot 4, 0 OutsSep 5 5:12 PM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOHN HESTER (2) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF J.A. HAPP.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 3, ARIZONA 1
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: R LOPEZ (.055, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Astros 3, Diamondbacks 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsSep 5 4:53 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    HOUSTON 3 3 2 0
    ARIZONA 0 0 0 (BOT 1)


    CURRENT PITCHERS: HOU - J.A. HAPP
    ARI - RODRIGO LOPEZ

    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: S DREW (.273, 12 HR, 50 RBI)
    C YOUNG (.268, 23 HR, 81 RBI)
    K JOHNSON (.271, 19 HR, 58 RBI)

    Astros 3, Diamondbacks 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 5 4:21 PM