Led by Reynolds, the Diamondbacks look to beat one of the majors’ hottest pitchers as they face Rodriguez on Sunday.
Arizona (58-72) has outscored Houston 23-7 in winning the first two contests of this three-game series. The Astros (62-67) have surrendered five home runs while walking nine in 16 innings.
“We haven’t pitched very well the last two days, and that makes a lot of hitters look like they’re a whole lot better than they are,” manager Cecil Cooper said.
There is little doubt regarding Reynolds’ prowess at the plate, however. He hit his 40th homer in a 9-0 win Saturday night.
The third baseman hit a two-run shot in the third inning, moving within one of St. Louis’ Albert Pujols(notes) for the major league lead, and he did it on a night when Diamondbacks franchise home run leader Luis Gonzalez was honored in a pregame ceremony.
Reynolds is the second player in Arizona’s 12-year history to reach 40 home runs. Gonzalez, who has announced his retirement following 19 seasons, hit 57 in 2001 and had 224 in eight seasons with the Diamondbacks.
“I’m humbled to be in the situation I’m in,” Reynolds said. “Gonzo did a lot of great things for this organization, for this team, and I can only hope to follow in his footsteps and bring a World Series here and do all the great things he did.”
Though he’s in his third season, Reynolds’ 85 homers are good for fifth in Diamondbacks history.
Reynolds has a double in three at-bats against Rodriguez (12-8, 2.82 ERA), who may give the slugger some trouble. Rodriguez has given up one run or none in nine of his last 10 starts.
The left-hander lost his last start despite surrendering one run and three hits while striking out six in seven innings of a 1-0 defeat to St. Louis on Tuesday night.
Rodriguez is 2-3 with a 5.55 ERA in five starts versus the Diamondbacks.
Haren seems to be settling down after a tough stretch. He’s allowed two runs or fewer in two of his last three starts after going 1-2 with a 6.26 ERA in his previous four.
The right-hander didn’t receive a decision after giving up two runs and striking out six in seven innings of a 5-4 loss to San Francisco on Tuesday night.
Haren is 2-2 with a 3.18 ERA in four starts against the Astros, who have been held to two runs or fewer in three of their last five games.
Houston slugger Carlos Lee(notes) is 0 for 8 in this series and is batting .174 in seven games against the Diamondbacks this year. The left fielder is hitting .200 with no homers in his last eight road games.