The Arizona Diamondbacks come home tonight to face the Milwaukee Brewers feeling pretty good about themselves. Why? They just wrapped up the season's longest road trip, an 11-gamer, with an acceptable 6-5 record. The D-Backs punctuated it Thursday night in Houston with a complete-game 6-3 win from ace Dan Haren.
Haren cruised through most of the game, running into a spot of trouble only in the bottom of the fourth, when the Astros mounted a big threat but walked away with only two runs. Haren gave up seven hits and a walk, but he also struck out nine Astros. And he gave the reviled D-Backs bullpen a much-needed day off.
Meanwhile, on the offensive side, there appears to be no slowing down Kelly Johnson, who led off the game with his 10th homer, good for the league lead in that category. Utility infielder Tony Abreu, who started at shortstop in place of the resting Stephen Drew, made the most of his opportunity by going 4-for-5 with a run scored and a run batted in.
Tonight, the D-Backs and the Brewers will commence a three-game series at Chase Field. The Brewers, led by sluggers Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, are off to an up-and-down start to the season. They enter tonight's game at 12-16. The D-Backs now stand at 14-15. The starting pitching match-up tonight is Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo (3-2, 3.00 ERA, 40 strikeouts in 36 innings) against D-Backs letdown Edwin Jackson (1-3, 8.07), who has really struggled lately.
First pitch: 6:40 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 92.3 FM. More info: www.dbacks.com