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Sat, Aug 18, 2012 - 7:05 PM ET
 

Diamondbacks-Astros Preview

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The Arizona Diamondbacks' Patrick Corbin finally looks comfortable in the majors.

On Saturday night, he'll get to face an entire team that can't say the same.

The 23-year-old left-hander will seek his third win since being called up from the minors Saturday night when Arizona continues its weekend road series against the major league-worst Houston Astros.

Corbin (4-4, 3.41 ERA) entered this season as one of Arizona's top prospects but was inconsistent after being called up from Double-A Mobile on April 30, going 2-3 with a 5.27 ERA over five starts. He pitched exclusively in relief during a second stint in the majors June 27-July 14, but has finally lived up to billing since his latest recall Aug. 1.

Corbin has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last three starts, going 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA. He matched a career high by tossing seven innings in Sunday's 7-4 win over Washington.

"Just having some confidence against these guys, just knowing you can go out there and pitch your game. That's something I've been doing since I came back up. It's been working out," Corbin said.

After defeating the team with the best record in the majors, Corbin now gets to face the team that owns the worst mark. The Astros (39-81) are on the brink of clinching their fourth straight losing season and are on pace to top their franchise-worst mark of 106 defeats, set last year. A 3-1 loss in Friday's series opener was their 38th in 45 games.

Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Young each drove in a run for Arizona after hitting back-to-back solo homers in the ninth inning of Thursday's 2-1 victory in St. Louis.

"We haven't been very good winning games in which we haven't scored a lot of runs, but last two nights have been very good," manager Kirk Gibson said. "We hope that continues."

Arizona has defeated Houston seven straight times overall, has won 18 of 22 in the series and five straight at Minute Maid. The Diamondbacks (60-59) will now try to beat Astros starter Jordan Lyles (2-9, 5.47) for the second time this season.

The 21-year-old right-hander has given up 15 runs and 22 hits over 10 2-3 innings in two career starts versus Arizona. He surrendered eight runs - five earned - and 10 hits over 5 2-3 innings of an 8-2 road loss July 22.

Lyles has dropped five straight decisions overall after allowing four runs over seven innings of Sunday's 5-3 defeat to Milwaukee. On the bright side, he didn't walk a batter and has issued just five free passes over his last five outings.

"The thing with Lyles is we've been able to see the guy improve," manager Brad Mills told the Astros' official website. "We saw quite a few starts last year, but this year he's taken off. He's improved. We see the improvements that he's made start after start. That's what we want to see from a guy who's 21 years old - to continue to improve and get better."

Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero is 4 for 6 against Lyles, while outfielder Gerardo Parra is 4 for 5.

Tagged: Astros, Diamondbacks

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