Astros-Diamondbacks Preview

The Associated Press

The Arizona Diamondbacks are probably thrilled to be back home facing the lowly Houston Astros.

Coming off a huge offensive effort, the Diamondbacks look for a fifth consecutive home victory Saturday night against the Astros.

One day after blowing a six-run lead in a 7-6 loss at Cincinnati to conclude a 2-5 trip, Arizona (45-48) pounded out 14 hits during a 13-8 win over Houston on Friday.

"It was nice to get the bats going," said right fielder Justin Upton, who hit his 99th career homer and had three RBIs. "We executed."

Aaron Hill had three hits and Stephen Drew added three RBIs on the one-year anniversary of his devastating season-ending ankle injury for the Diamondbacks, who have totaled 30 runs while winning four straight at home after losing four in a row at Chase Field.

Arizona seems to have a good chance to continue its home success this weekend against Houston (34-60), which has lost 15 of 19 against the Diamondbacks and eight of 11 in Phoenix.

Owners of a major league-worst 10-39 road record, the Astros have lost four straight and 17 of 18 away from home. Houston has dropped 17 of 19 overall.

Things may not get any easier Saturday when the Astros face All-Star Wade Miley (10-5, 3.13 ERA) for the first time. The left-hander was hit hard in losing his last two starts before the break and he gave up three runs in the first two innings Monday at Cincinnati, but he followed that up with 3 2-3 scoreless innings to earn the victory in a 5-3 win.

"Once I hit the third inning, I settled down and gained some confidence," he said.

Hill, riding an 11-game overall hit streak, is batting .448 in his last 24 at home. Upton, meanwhile, has overcome the distraction of trade rumors to go 8 for 20 in his last five contests after enduring an 0-for-10 stretch in his previous three.

"I think Justin has been outstanding throughout the whole thing," manager Kirk Gibson told the Diamondbacks' official website. "He's motivated to be better."

Upton has batted .455 (15 for 33) with four homers and 11 RBIs in his last eight home games against the Astros.

Houston was originally scheduled to start J.A. Happ in this contest, but the left-hander was included in a 10-player trade with Toronto on Friday. The Astros will instead recall left-hander Dallas Keuchel (1-1, 2.45) to make his fifth major league start and first since he allowed four runs and four walks in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-4 loss at Pittsburgh on July 4.

The Astros also sent pitchers Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter to Toronto in exchange for veteran reliever Francisco Cordero, outfielder Ben Francisco, four minor leaguers and a player to be named later.

"This is a very good deal for us," Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "Once again, we are adding depth to our minor league system with quality young players. We really feel this will help us moving forward."

Scott Moore hit a three-run homer and backup catcher Carlos Corporan connected for his first big league home run Friday for Houston. With two more hits, the versatile Matt Downs is 7 for 13 in his last four games.

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