Diamondbacks 8, Astros 2
The Arizona Diamondbacks surely are sad to see the Houston Astros leave town.
The Diamondbacks wrapped up their best offensive series of the season with an 8-2 victory on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep of the staggering Astros.
Jason Kubel homered for the sixth time in five games and Chris Young added a three-run shot.
Kubel, coming off a three-homer game Saturday night, led off the second inning with his 21st of the season. Young's homer highlighted a season-high seven-run sixth for the Diamondbacks, who outscored Houston 33-13 in the series.
''It's huge for us just because we did struggle the week before with the offense a little bit,'' Young said. ''To kind of get everything clicking on all cylinders is nice. The pitching did an amazing job and the offense was able to come through. Kubel had a huge series and we all kind of fed off of that.''
The Diamondbacks, in the midst of a 10-game homestand, pulled within a game of .500 at 47-48.
''We want to continue to roll on this,'' manager Kirk Gibson said. ''We know when we come off this homestand it's very important that we get over .500. We head on the road for virtually all of August.''
Justin Maxwell homered for Houston as the Astros lost their sixth straight and 19th in 21 games. Houston was swept for the eighth time this season.
Josh Collmenter (2-2), back in the rotation after touted prospect Trevor Bauer was sent back to Triple-A Reno, gave up two runs and seven hits through six innings to get the win. Collmenter struggled mightily early in the season, then had success in a long relief role before getting his chance to start again.
''Going back and forth and being a starter last year, it's easy to get back on schedule,'' he said. ''Nothing's too unfamiliar, especially this year with the amount of different things I've had to try to accomplish, whether it be out of the `pen or as a starter. Now it's just getting on that routine and making sure you're going out there each time giving your team a good effort.''
Kubel also singled and tripled. Gerardo Parra singled in two runs for the Diamondbacks, whose 12 hits gave them 40 for the series.
Jordan Lyles (2-7) took the loss, allowing eight runs, five earned, and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings. He nursed a 2-1 lead going into the sixth before things fell apart.
''Up until the sixth inning me and Corp (catcher Carlos Corporan) were doing a pretty good job,'' Lyles said. ''The wheels fell off in the sixth. I've got to make better pitches when your back is against the wall.''
Singles by Stephen Drew, Aaron Hill and Kubel loaded the bases with one out. Miguel Montero bounced one up the middle and shortstop Marwin Gonzalez chased it down. He flipped the ball to second baseman Jose Altuve, who tried to catch it with his bare hand but dropped it. Two runs scored on Gonzalez's error and Arizona led 3-2.
''He threw the ball to my side,'' Altuve said. ''At that moment, I thought that I couldn't get it with my glove so I tried to barehand it. I was just trying to catch it. I thought that was the only chance I had.''
Young, the next batter, lofted a 3-2 pitch into the left-field seats to make it 6-2.
The Diamondbacks weren't finished.
Singles by Lyle Overbay and pinch-hitter Ryan Roberts put runners at first and second. Both advanced on a passed ball and scored on Parra's single to make it 8-2.
Maxwell lined a 1-1 pitch off the top of the porch in left-center for his ninth home run to put Houston up 1-0 in the second. Kubel's homer just inside the right-field foul pole in the Arizona second tied it.
Consecutive doubles by Altuve and Gonzalez to start the sixth gave Houston a short-lived 2-1 lead. Gonzalez took third on a groundout but was nabbed in a rundown when Maxwell failed to put down a suicide squeeze.
NOTES: Lyles is 0-5 in eight road starts this season. ... Kubel's second-inning homer was his 500th career RBI. ... Hill, who extended his hitting streak to 13 games, appeared in his 1,000th major league contest. ... The Diamondbacks open a three-game series with Colorado on Monday. RHP Ian Kennedy (7-8, 4.33 ERA) goes for Arizona against recently acquired Jonathan Sanchez (1-6, 7.76 ERA with Kansas City). ... The Astros return home for a three-game series with Cincinnati. Wandy Rodriguez (7-8, 3.75) pitches for Houston against Mat Latos (8-3, 4.33). ... The Diamondbacks scored five or more runs in an inning three times in the series. ... Parra was picked off twice. ... RHP Brad Bergeson, claimed off waivers by Arizona from Baltimore on Friday, pitched a scoreless seventh.