We hadn't attended an Arizona Diamondbacks game in weeks, and when the lowly Houston Astros ran up a 7-1 lead at Chase Field last night, we headed home in disgust. After all, the D-Backs had lost 9-1 to the 'Stros the night before, and it looked like more of the same.
Man, were we wrong! By the time we got home, the Snakes had bitten back with eight runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
It was All-Star right fielder Justin Upton who provided the spark, though he didn't do it alone. Upton drove in four runs on three hits and a home run (his 23rd this season) to lead the D-Backs to an 11-9 win.
Unfortunately, the San Francisco Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-0 by the bay last night to keep Arizona a half-game back in the National League West race.
Batting eighth in the lineup, left fielder Gerardo Parra had a four-hit outing. Catcher Miguel Montero had three runs batted in and slammed a double, even if his slow ass did get thrown out at third early in the game. Shortstop Willie Bloomquist drove in two runs on a base hit. Fellow infielders Ryan Roberts and Kelly Johnson smashed RBI doubles.
Jason Marquis sucked again in his second start for the D-Backs, getting bombed from the get-go. Why manager Kirk Gibson kept him in for as long as he did is a mystery to us. The former Washington National gave up a whopping nine hits and seven runs.
Micah Owings, whom Marquis replaced in the starting rotation, came in and saved the night, throwing three innings of relief. He did allow a bases-empty homer, but he only gave up two hits, striking out four -- which, on this evening, was a marvel.
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All closer J.J. Putz had to do in the top of the ninth was get three batters out, but he gave up three hits -- and frayed the nerves of fans and teammates in so doing -- before he got this accomplished. And it took every inch of his diving 6-foot-5 frame to stop a little grounder to the first-base side of the mound and throw out the runner to end the game..
Gibson said in his post-contest news conference that the game was "exhausting" (an understatement), adding that he was proud of the resiliency of his team -- which has now twice dug itself out of six-run holes this season (both against the Astros).
Hitting their first career homers for the Astros were Brian Bogusevic and Jimmy Paredes.
The Snakes continue their four-game series against Houston tonight at Chase Field. Game time is 6:40. Rookie Josh Collmenter (6-7, 3.58 ERA) will take the mound for Arizona, and Henry Sosa (no stats available) will start for the Astros. TV: Fox Sports Net. For more information, go to www.diamondbacks.com.