Venue: Chase Field
With plenty of help from slugger Jason Kubel, the Arizona Diamondbacks have continued their recent home success at the expense of the lowly Houston Astros.
The Diamondbacks look to complete a three-game sweep by matching a season high with their sixth straight home victory Sunday against the Astros.
One night after Arizona (46-48) broke out for a 13-8 win over Houston, Kubel hit a career-high three home runs and had six RBIs in Saturday's 12-3 victory. The Diamondbacks, who have recorded 28 hits and drawn 14 walks in the series, last scored 10 runs or more in three straight games May 17-20, 2006.
Kubel hit a two-run home run in the first inning and a three-run homer in the fourth. He added a solo shot in the sixth to become the seventh Arizona player to homer three times in a game.
"You don't see many games like that," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He gets the bat there really quick, to all fields."
After spending his first seven seasons in Minnesota, Kubel is batting .294 with 20 home runs and 70 RBIs in his first year with the Diamondbacks. He's hit 15 of those homers and driven in 50 runs while batting .331 in 44 games at Chase Field.
"I'm hoping to do more. We've got a good amount of baseball left," Kubel said. "As long as guys keep getting on base for me, then hopefully I can keep going. I definitely like the park a lot. I like the team. It's great."
The Diamondbacks won six straight at home June 5-18, and they might have a good chance to match that run against Houston's Jordan Lyles (2-6, 5.29 ERA), who will try a 16th time to record his first major league road win.
The right-hander allowed five runs and 11 hits in six innings of an 8-2 loss at San Diego on Tuesday to fall to 0-8 with a 6.59 ERA in 15 road starts. The Astros have lost each of the last 14.
"I need to just attack each game like it's a new game, put everything behind you," Lyles said. "I've just got to get a little more consistent."
He'll certainly want to forget his only previous outing against the Diamondbacks last Aug. 9 at Chase Field, where he gave up seven runs and 12 hits in five-plus innings during Houston's 11-9 loss.
After prized pitching prospect Trevor Bauer was sent back to the minors, Josh Collmenter (1-2, 3.90) finds himself back in Arizona's rotation. The right-hander has a 6.03 ERA in seven starts this season but is 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his last three.
In his most recent start July 6, Collmenter allowed two runs - one earned - and struck out six in six innings of a 5-3 home win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"It's good to have a check in the win column," he told the Diamondbacks' official website.
Collmenter, who pitched three scoreless innings of relief during a 4-0 loss at Cincinnati on Tuesday, went 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts against the Astros last season.
Houston All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve is 0 for 3 against Collmenter, but 10 for 24 (.417) in five career games against the Diamondbacks after getting two hits Saturday. The Astros (34-61) still lost for the 18th time in 20 games overall.
Houston has dropped 18 of 19 on the road, where it is 10-40 in 2012. The Astros' latest defeat came hours after they traded closer Brett Myers to the Chicago White Sox for two minor league pitchers and a player to be named.
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