PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks answered quickly after
Troy Glaus highlighted a five-run second inning with a two-run
homer and Shawn Green and Tony Clark also connected, powering the
Diamondbacks to a 7-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Thursday
Craig Counsell drove in a run and Glaus also doubled for
Arizona, which avoided getting swept by Houston in a series for the
first time. The Diamondbacks scored more than three runs for only
the fourth time in 15 games.
"We needed to put something together," Glaus said. "You know,
we've had opportunities and we haven't taken advantage of them, and
today, fortunately enough, we were able to take advantage and
The loss was just the second in 11 games and third in 18 for
Houston, but it allowed Washington to move within one game in the
Arizona rookie Brad Halsey (8-7) remained unbeaten since June,
allowing two runs -- one earned -- on eight hits and a walk in six
innings. Halsey is 4-0 in six starts since an 11-3 loss to San
Francisco on June 28.
He also is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA against Houston this season.
"I like him," Houston manager Phil Garner said. "I think he's
going to be a real good pitcher. He's pitched two real good games
Jose Valverde got the final five outs for his third save.
The Astros scored on a sacrifice fly, groundout and Halsey's
Wandy Rodriguez (6-5), another rookie, lost for the first time
in four starts. He gave up six hits, including the homers by Glaus
and Green, and walked three while allowing six runs in five
Arizona answered with five runs in its half.
Rodriguez walked Clark before Glaus hit his 22nd homer into the
left-field seats. Green walked and Luis Terrero and Koyie Hill
singled to load the bases, and two more runs scored on Rodriguez's
throwing error when the left-hander threw wide trying to pick off
Hill at first.
Halsey struck out, but Counsell hit an RBI single.
"They got some guys on and we had one bad play," second
baseman Craig Biggio said. "But, once again, they've got a good
team over there, and for us to come out here and take two out of
three, we'll take it."
Green made it 6-2 with a 418-foot shot that struck the
center-field wall above the yellow home run line leading off
The Astros had squeezed out a run in their half when Rodriguez
hit the first of three successive, two-out singles. He scored when
Lance Berkman's sharp liner back to the mound that skipped up out
of Halsey's glove was ruled an error.
Halsey finished the fourth by getting Morgan Ensberg on a called
third strike -- his second straight inning ended with the bases
"Every hitter is a pretty big situation because they can all
hit it out of the ballpark, but obviously, with the bases loaded,
two outs right there, that was huge," Halsey said.
Halsey was lifted for pinch-hitter Chad Tracy with the bases
loaded and one out in the sixth. The decision looked shaky when
Tracy grounded into a double play, and reliever Lance Cormier gave
up a run in the eighth.
Cormier, who worked a scoreless seventh, got one out in the
eighth before hitting Burke and allowing a double by pinch-hitter
Jose Vizcaino. Valverde allowed a sacrifice fly to pinch-hitter
Orlando Palmeiro before striking out Willy Taveras.
"It depends on where you are," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin
said about hitting for Halsey, who threw only 84 pitches. "We have
a chance to break it open, and I have a bullpen that's rested."
Clark homered against Chad Qualls in the eighth.
The Diamondbacks' five-run second ended their string of 18
consecutive scoreless innings. ... Arizona LF Luis Gonzalez made
all three putouts behind Cormier in the seventh inning, catching
two liners and Jason Lane's lofty fly. ... The Astros still went
4-2 against the Diamondbacks, winning the season series for the
second year. ... Biggio was hit by a pitch for the major
league-record 270th time in his career.