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CIN@HOU: Wandy sets Astros record for K's by lefty

Now is no time to stumble into a lengthy losing streak if you're the Arizona Diamondbacks.

They avoided their first losing streak of more than three games since May 8-13 with a 4-3 victory Sunday against the Dodgers to remain a half-game behind the Giants in the National League West.

"You just keep pounding through it," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We've had several real good streaks, we just came off a good road trip. ... You gotta push through it. Things aren't exactly falling in place."

But with a four-game series against the Astros coming up, the D-backs don't want to waste an opportunity to perhaps jump the Giants in the standings with the team holding the worst record in the Majors in town.

Astros lefty Wandy Rodriguez has been dealing with a knot in his pitching shoulder since his last start on Tuesday, but was given the green light to start Monday's opener in Arizona after throwing off flat ground on Sunday.

"I don't feel nothing, so I'm ready for tomorrow," said Rodriguez, who in his last start passed Bob Knepper for first place on the club's all-time list for most strikeouts by a lefty.

D-backs: Hudson coming off strong outing
Daniel Hudson gets the call for Arizona and is looking to notch his 12th win of the season.

Hudson managed a win in his only start against the Astros this season despite giving up six runs (five earned) in six innings on May 27. He pitched eight innings of one-run ball in his last start at San Francisco.

"I just try to stay on the same page, keep with the same routine and try to keep yourself in shape to go seven, eight, nine innings every single game," Hudson said.

Astros: Shuck inserted at head of lineup
The Astros have 11 rookies on the 25-man roster, and another made his first career start Sunday when J.B. Shuck batted leadoff and played right field.

Shuck went 0-for-3 with a walk against the Brewers, but is excited to get his chance to prove his worth as an everyday Major Leaguer.

"I don't have to do anything differently other than just try to prepare a little earlier," he said. "I'm going to go out and play the game."

Worth noting
• The D-backs' 13 wins since the All-Star break are third in the NL behind the Phillies (17) and Brewers (16).

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