The Arizona Diamondbacks know their quest for an NL West title will not be easy.
Trying to build on a spirited comeback victory, the Diamondbacks continue their four-game set with the Houston Astros on Wednesday night at Chase Field.
After suffering through a 9-1 loss to lowly Houston on Monday, Arizona (63-53) scored eight runs in the fifth and sixth innings to overcome a 7-1 deficit and match the largest rally in franchise history to beat the Astros 11-9 on Tuesday. The Diamondbacks remain one-half game behind first-place San Francisco in the division.
Justin Upton(notes) went 3 for 5 with a two-run homer and four RBIs while fellow All-Star Miguel Montero(notes) added three hits and three RBIs as the Diamondbacks won for the second time in six games.
“I think that we’re well aware about how we’re going to win our games and how we’re going to win this division,” second baseman Kelly Johnson(notes) told the Diamondbacks’ official website. “It’s not going to be a breeze. Each game is going to be pretty tight.”
Upton hopes his performance at the plate Tuesday will get him back on track after going 2 for 19 in his previous five games.
“I’ve been awful for a week now,” he said. “(Tuesday) I was seeing (the ball) better.”
After starters Daniel Hudson(notes) and Jason Marquis(notes) combined to allow 14 runs - seven earned - over seven innings in the first two games, the Diamondbacks hope rookie Josh Collmenter(notes) can bounce back from the shortest start of his career in this contest.
Collmenter has allowed 11 runs and 15 hits in six innings to lose his last two starts - both against the Los Angeles Dodgers - after giving up just three and 12 hits over 21 innings while going 2-0 in his previous three outings. The right-hander surrendered six runs in 2 1-3 innings of a 7-4 home loss to the Dodgers on Friday.
“He needs to execute his pitches better,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “He needs to command his fastball better, and the last couple times out he just hasn’t had his fastball command.”
Collmenter, however, was solid versus Houston on May 29 when he allowed two runs and four hits in six innings but did not factor in the decision of a 4-2 win at Minute Maid Park.
He’ll be facing a much different and less experienced Astros’ lineup Wednesday.
Rookie left fielder J.D. Martinez(notes) homered in his second straight game and right fielder Brian Bogusevic(notes) went 3 for 5 with his first career homer and three RBIs for the Astros (38-78), who have not played like a team with the worst record in the majors in this series.
Four of Martinez’s 11 hits in 36 career at-bats have left the park. All have come in his last six games where he has 11 of his 12 career RBIs.
Rookie Aneury Rodriguez(notes) (0-4, 4.78) is expected to make this start for the Astros in his first appearance versus Arizona. The right-hander has made 30 appearances this season, including eight starts where he has gone 0-4 with a 5.80 ERA. The most recent came June 10 when he allowed six runs in four innings of an 11-4 loss to Atlanta.