A day after helping the Astros snap a four-game losing streak, Kent will look to lead them to another victory when they meet the Arizona Diamondbacks in the middle game of their three-game series at Minute Maid Park.
In Tuesday’s series opener, Kent hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning to give the Astros a 4-3 win.
“Kent came through again,” Astros starter Jeriome Robertson said. “It seems like every time we get in that kind of situation he comes up and you know there’s a pretty good chance something is going to happen.”
Kent tried to deflect the attention after the game.
“It was just a lucky flop,” said Kent, who is batting .314 with 10 homers and 49 RBIs. “It was one of those heavy balls they like to hit here. But our pitching did a great job. That’s why we’ve won the majority of games we’ve won.”
The Astros had lost five of their previous six. Tuesday’s win was their first since a record six pitchers no-hit the New York Yankees in an 8-0 win last Wednesday.
The Diamondbacks had won three of four before Tuesday.
STANDINGS: Diamondbacks - 4th place, 9 GB, NL West. Astros - 2nd place, 1/2 GB, NL Central.
DIAMONDBACKS PROBABLE STARTER: Brandon Webb (3-2, 2.45 ERA). Webb has allowed no more than three earned runs in any of his eight starts this season. On Friday, he gave up three runs and six hits through six innings of a 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins. The 24-year-old right-hander has never faced the Astros.
ASTROS PROBABLE STARTER: Ron Villone (no record). The Astros purchased Villone’s contract from Triple-A New Orleans on Sunday, and he will become the team’s 10th starting pitcher this season. The left-hander was 3-1 with a 1.23 ERA at New Orleans.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Diamondbacks - Luis Gonzalez, .302 avg., 13 HRs, 46 RBIs and 43 runs; Tony Womack, 7 SBs. Astros - Kent, .314 avg. and 49 RBIs; Morgan Ensberg, 13 HRs; Lance Berkman, 48 runs; Adam Everett, 6 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Astros, 1-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Diamondbacks - RF Danny Bautista was a late scratch on Tuesday because of a pulled left hamstring he injured on Friday night. … 2B Matt Kata got his first major league hit with a single in the third inning Tuesday. He later added a solo homer. … LF Gonzalez has gone hitless in four of his last five games. Astros - Houston is 33-1 when leading after eight innings. Since opening day in 2001, they are 186-4 when they have the lead after eight. … OF Richard Hidalgo is batting .381 (24-for-63) in at-bats after the sixth inning this season. … In his last 22 appearances, RHP Billy Wagner has 16 saves and a 0.77 ERA.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Diamondbacks - 15-18 on the road; Astros - 23-12 at home.
INJURIES: Diamondbacks - IF Junior Spivey (ankle), 15-day DL; OF David Dellucci (concussion), 15-day DL; LHP Randy Johnson (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Matt Mantei (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Curt Schilling (hand), 15-day DL; RHP Bret Prinz (groin), 60-day DL; IF Craig Counsell (thumb), 60-day DL. Astros - LHP Carlos Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Brian Moehler (elbow), 15-day DL.