The Houston Astros continue to be the rest of the National League's fodder, even when they change managers. The Arizona Diamondbacks exploded for five runs in the fourth inning off Astros starter Armando Galarraga and coasted to a 8-1 win and three-game series sweep at Minute Maid Park Sunday, spoiling the debut of new Astros manager Tony DeFrancesco.
Aaron Hill hit a pair of home runs as part of his three hits, scored three times and drove in two in support of starting pitcher Ian Kennedy (11-10), who allowed one run on five hits and struck out seven. The Diamondbacks head back to Phoenix to open a 10-game homestand with a 62-59 record, still very much alive in the NL West race at 4 1/2 games out of first place.
The D-backs will play 24 of their final 41 regular-season games at Chase Field, with 15 of those 41 against the teams they trail in the division, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. So the opportunity is there to make a push.
On Sunday, the Diamondbacks hit well off a former teammate. Armando Galarraga has had a fairly nondescript major-league career, but no matter what he does he'll always be remembered for his near no-hitter that was lost on a blown call.
Galarraga wasn't close to a no-no on Sunday. And the Diamondbacks ended up winning four of six on the road trip to St. Louis and Houston,