Astros 10, Diamondbacks 3
Beltran drove in three runs with two homers and Everett tied his career high with four RBIs to power the Astros to a 10-3 victory over Arizona on Thursday, the Diamondbacks’ second 11-game losing streak this season.
“You have a good game, you feel good about yourself,” Beltran said. “I feel like I can hit, I feel like I can help the team. Things aren’t going our way right now, but we take two out of two against Arizona, and we go home now and we look forward to winning series.”
Everett had a two-run homer and a two-run single before getting spiked in the eighth inning and having to leave the game. He said he was only bruised and wouldn’t miss any action.
The Astros won their second straight and third in seven games since manager Phil Garner replaced Jimy Williams.
Arizona, winless since the All-Star break, also lost its eighth consecutive at home—extending a franchise record which never exceeded five in a row until this week.
After a club-record 11-game skid from June 18-29, the Diamondbacks rebounded with two wins but failed to save the job of Bob Brenly, who was replaced by Al Pedrique on July 2. They have lost 16 of 18 since then.
“We’ve had eight million meetings, and guys saying all kinds of different things,” said catcher Brent Mayne, who had three hits. “I don’t know how to get out of it. Nobody does. You’ve just got to keep playing hard.”
“Early runs were probably the biggest thing,” Oswalt said. “Once you go ahead two or three runs, it takes a lot of pressure off.”
Chad Qualls, called up from Triple-A New Orleans on Tuesday, worked the eighth for Houston in his major league debut and gave up an RBI double to Hillenbrand.
Everett homered into the left-field grandstand with two outs in the third off Arizona rookie Edgar Gonzalez (0-2), who was making his second start this year and fourth of his career. Beltran followed with a shot into the right-field seats.
In the fifth, Everett singled with two outs, and Beltran made it 6-0 with a 390-foot shot to right.
Beltran, who was 3-for-4, has 10 homers in 23 games with the Astros, and 25 overall. He had his third multihomer game this year—the last July 1 at the Chicago Cubs—and has 11 in his career.
“He’s going to have to come back next time and be stronger and more aggressive with his fastball,” Pedrique said about Gonzalez, who will get another start. “He hung a couple pitches up front—a changeup, and then a slider, and when you’re facing hitters like (Beltran), you’re going to pay.”
Everett, 3-for-4, singled in the fifth and sixth, driving in two runs against reliever Elmer Dessens with the second. His other four-RBI game came July 9, 2003, against Cincinnati.
“The thing I liked right off the get-go today was Kent hits the ball off the center-field wall,” Garner said. “I think some of our big guys were taking on a little too much burden, and when you see him going toward the center of the diamond, you know he’s going to hit well.”
Hillenbrand drove in Arizona’s third run with a double in the eighth. Hillenbrand spiked Everett in the knee on his slide into second and the Astros shortstop had to leave the game.
“I was going for the ball and hit his spike and brought it up,” Everett said. “Shea and I played together, and I know he wouldn’t try to do that at all. I mean, Shea’s a great dude.”
Mike Lamb replaced Everett in the field, then hit a two-run homer in the ninth to make it 10-3.
Beltran has 70 RBIs, 51 with Kansas City. … The Astros (47-48) got within one game of .500. … Oswalt has had a decision in his last 14 starts (7-7). … Edgar Gonzalez beat San Diego 10-4 in his debut June 1, 2003, lasting 5 2-3 innings and allowing three runs.