video thumbnail

HOU@ARI: Putz makes a diving play for the save

PHOENIX -- For the second time this year, the D-backs overcame a six-run deficit to win. And once again it was the Astros who were on the losing end.

The D-backs rallied from a 7-1 hole to beat the Astros, 11-9, on Tuesday night in front of 17,814 at Chase Field.

The win was just the second for the D-backs in their last six games, as they avoided falling to 1-4 on their current homestand against the Dodgers and Astros, two teams well below .500.

"This was a huge win," outfielder Justin Upton said. "We've been down the last two nights and we haven't played particularly well on this homestand, so we definitely didn't want to drop another one."

The win helped the D-backs remain a half game behind the first-place Giants in the National League West. San Francisco beat the Pirates, 6-0.

The D-backs dug themselves an early hole as starter Jason Marquis struggled for the second time since coming over in a trade prior to the Trade Deadline. The right-hander was given a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but he quickly gave it right back as the Astros tied things up in the second.

Things then fell apart for Marquis in the third, as he allowed a combined three runs on a solo homer by J.D. Martinez and a two-run shot off the bat of Brian Bogusevic. The Astros got to Marquis for three more runs in the fourth to extend to a 7-1 advantage.

"Obviously you want to get off on the right foot with your new teammates, go out there and win some ballgames," Marquis said. "I'm not putting too much pressure on myself. I'm just going out there and try to pitch and throw the way I have been all year. Unfortunately, it hasn't turned out that way, but like I said I'll keep working to get better and go back to the drawing board in between starts."

Facing a six-run deficit, the D-backs needed someone to hold the Astros in check to at least give the offense a chance at another comeback.

Enter Micah Owings.

"Just leave us where we're at," Owings said. "That was my focus. Make pitches, trust the guys behind me."

The right-hander, who improved to 6-0, has excelled in his role as a spot starter/long reliever since being recalled from Triple-A Reno. He was able to keep the Astros scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings before finally allowing a run in the seventh.

"He's done everything we've asked him to do," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's got a great attitude and he's prepared for whatever happens and three big innings tonight, just kind of stopped the bleeding right there. We were scrambling to stop them. Give Houston credit, they've swung the bats outstanding. You make a mistake, they pound."

Upton's two-run double along with Miguel Montero's two-run single in the fifth pulled the D-backs to within two runs at 7-5.

Then in sixth, shortstop Willie Bloomquist atoned for an earlier error by driving home two with a single to center. Upton followed with a two-run homer, and suddenly the D-backs were on top, 9-7.

Upton's night -- he was 3-for-5 with four RBIs, three runs while coming up a triple shy of the cycle -- was a testament to his ability to refocus mentally after a dispute with home-plate umpire C.B. Bucknor. Unhappy with a called strike during his third-inning at-bat, Upton and Bucknor exchanged words as he headed back out to right field following the inning.

"I was a little hot," Upton said. "It's just one of those things where our guys were out there battling and I didn't think things were going our way and I was a little upset about it, but you get over those things and deal with them a lot. That's just the game of baseball, but being able to stay cool and get back to where you need to be mentally and continue to play the game and contribute is huge."

The Astros made things interesting in the ninth off closer J.J. Putz, scoring a run and putting runners at second and third with just one out.

"The guys were having good at-bats, even though we left some guys on," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "With the part of the order we had and the guys we had up, you really felt something was going to happen."

Instead, Putz struck out Matt Downs and made a nice diving stop on a grounder by Jose Altuve to end the game.

"That game was exhausting," Gibson said.

The D-backs trailed the Astros, 6-0, after four innings on May 27 in Houston before rallying for a 7-6 win.

Tuesday marked the sixth time in franchise history the D-backs have overcome a six-run deficit to win.

MLB.com Comments