Astros 10, Diamondbacks 3
HOUSTON (AP)—Adam Everett is surprising even himself lately.
“I just put two good swings together and they went out. It surprised me as much as it did anyone,” Everett said, crediting new hitting coach Gary Gaetti.
“He has me more comfortable with my swing and my hands are a little more relaxed. I’m just letting it go.”
Everett hit solo homers in the first and fourth innings. It continued a stretch in which Everett has gone 19-for-45 (.422) with four homers and 11 RBIs in his last 11 games.
“He’s not supposed to be a home-run hitter,” manager Phil Garner said. “I’m going to start fining him for hitting home runs.
“And I’m going to get Bagwell and Kent to pay his fines.”
Bagwell will be glad to pay any fines for Everett.
“That’s fine with me,” he said. “I don’t care if he’ll just keep doing what he’s doing.”
Oswalt (10-8) gave up a single to leadoff hitter Steve Finley, then retired the next 14 hitters. After a walk to Scott Hairston and a single by Alex Cintron, Oswalt retired his last seven. He struck out five and only walked one.
“He was throwing his fastball 95 or 96 and then he comes in with that 71 mph curveball,” Hairston said of Oswalt. “I think he even threw one 68. That’s hard to adjust to. He keeps the hitters off balance.”
Arizona lost again after snapping a 14-game losing streak the night before. Edgar Gonzalez (0-3) lasted four innings in his third major league start of the season and fifth of his career. He allowed six runs on eight hits and a walk.
“He wanted to show he could pitch up here, but it didn’t work,” manager Al Pedrique said. “He was too hyper. He was jumping around out there on the mound.
“He’s going to get the ball every fifth day. We need to find out if he can help us and help us next year.”
Bagwell’s three-run homer in the third gave Houston a 5-0 lead before Everett’s second blast.
Kent followed with a two-run homer off reliever Steve Sparks in the Astros’ four-run fifth. Bagwell scored on Raul Chavez’s groundout and Morgan Ensberg came home on a throwing error by third baseman Chad Tracy.
Kirk Bullinger started the eighth and gave up three runs to Arizona. Pinch-hitter Carlos Baerga’s RBI double scored the first run. Steve Finley’s groundout drove in another and Tracy’s double down the left-field line scored the third run before Chad Harville replaced Bullinger.
Finley has let the Diamondbacks know he will veto any trade away from a West Coast team. “That’s the rule—10 years in the league and five years with one club,” Finley said. “I’ve been here six years. I own the right. This isn’t a decision I came to several weeks ago. … I want to stay on the West Coast. I have four kids in school out there. So it was a family decision. There are enough teams out there that are interested and they are all in the pennant race.” … Oswalt’s career winning percentage of .679 (53-25) is the best in franchise history. … Oswalt fell off the mound in the fourth inning when his cleat caught the edge of the pitching rubber. It was ruled no pitch. … Juan Brito ended an 0-for-14 streak with a single in the eighth inning.
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