Houston (21-27) at Arizona (27-23)

  • Game info: 9:40 pm EDT Sat May 26, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Arizona Diamondbacks came close to finally scoring in double digits in Thursday’s series opener against the Houston Astros. They made no doubt about it one night later.

The Diamondbacks look for another strong offensive effort Saturday night when they continue their four-game set against the Astros at Chase Field.

Arizona (27-23) amassed 12 hits and cruised to a 9-1 victory Thursday to open the series. On Friday, the Diamondbacks used 17 hits and a career game from rookie third baseman Mark Reynolds to post their highest run total of the year in a 13-3 rout.

Reynolds, whose contract was purchased from Double-A Mobile on May 16, went 5-for-5 with two homers. The 23-year-old is batting .459 (17-for-37) with eight extra-base hits and 11 RBIs in his first 10 big league games.

“It’s unbelievable,” Reynolds said. “It’s been a great ride so far.”

Arizona manager Bob Melvin gave Reynolds his first start in the cleanup spot and intends to keep him there Saturday.

“It wasn’t much of a move,” Melvin said. “It was easy to do. He’s just going about his business. I don’t think he knows where he’s hitting in the lineup to tell you the truth.”

Houston (21-27), which gave up eight runs in the sixth inning, has lost six straight to fall six games below .500 for the first time this season.

“It certainly was their night,” Houston manager Phil Garner said. “Everything we threw, they hit.”

The Diamondbacks are hitting .403 (29-for-73) in this series with three homers, four triples and six doubles.

To make matters worse for the Astros, they’ll have to try to solve Diamondbacks starter Brandon Webb (3-3, 3.86 ERA) on Saturday. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 1.62 ERA in six career starts against Houston, including victories in his last three outings.

Webb has already beaten the Astros once this season, pitching a six-hitter and striking out 10 in a 3-1 victory on May 11. He retired 10 consecutive Astros, six on strikeouts, in one stretch of the contest.

Several Astros have been dominated by Webb in their careers. Craig Biggio is 1-for-21, Lance Berkman 2-for-17 and Brad Ausmus 1-for-15 against the sinkerballer.

Since his gem a Houston, Webb has gone 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in two starts - both against Colorado. He’s also still looking for his first win at home this year after going 0-2 with a 5.46 ERA in his first four outings at Chase Field.

Astros starter Chris Sampson (4-4, 3.31) will try to slow down the Diamondbacks’ hot bats. Sampson acquitted himself well when he opposed Webb on May 11, allowing three runs and eight hits over seven innings but taking the hard-luck loss in his lone career start against Arizona.

The right-hander has been victimized by poor run support in going 1-3 with a 3.04 ERA over his last four outings. The Astros have scored a total of four runs in those games, including a 4-0 loss at San Francisco on Monday in which Sampson allowed three runs - one earned - over six innings.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Sampson MIA vs. B. Webb TEX
7-8 Record 18-10
4.59 ERA 3.01
51 K 194
30 BB 72
1.38 WHIP 1.19


Saturday, May 26