Arizona (31-69) at Houston (49-49)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Houston, TX
Temp: 68° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Mon Jul 26, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Arizona Diamondbacks will try to end a franchise-record 14-game losing streak as they visit the Houston Astros in the opener of a three-game series.

The Diamondbacks went 0-11 on a homestand against Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and Colorado, dropping them to 4-30 since June 18. They haven’t won since beating San Francisco on July 8.

Arizona had a good chance to end its skid Sunday, as Randy Johnson struck out 14 and left after eight innings with a 1-0 lead. However, the bullpen couldn’t hold it, and the Rockies rallied for a 3-2 win.

“It’s been this way all year,” Arizona manager Al Pedrique said. “Somebody in the bullpen needs to step up and hold that kind of lead. It’s a shame to lose a game like today.”

Johnson allowed six hits and walked none in what may have been his final home start for the Diamondbacks with the July 31 trade deadline approaching.

While the Diamondbacks have struggled, Houston has started to play well for manager Phil Garner.

The Astros have won four of five, including a 9-1 victory over Milwaukee on Sunday. Houston improved to 5-5 since Garner replaced Jimy Williams as manager at the All-Star break.

Houston took a 4-0 lead in the third on Lamb’s bases-loaded double off the left-field scoreboard and Morgan Ensberg’s two-run single.

Jeff Kent was ejected by plate umpire Chris Guccione in the seventh after arguing a called strike two on a pitch Kent thought was low. Kent kicked and threw dirt on home plate before he left, but didn’t stay around after the game to talk with reporters.

“Jeff is a very intense player,” Garner said. “We thought that pitch was low and that he had called some other low strikes before that. Jeff just stepped out of the batter’s box because he had to get his head right, but the umpire asked him to get back in the box. After that, they had a little miscommunication, I think.”

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