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Vargas, Gonzalez help D-Backs hold off Pettitte, Astros

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

PHOENIX -- A sacrifice bunt by the cleanup batter, spectacular defense by a rookie shortstop and yet another double by Luis Gonzalez.

Throw in a solid outing for Claudio Vargas and Eric Byrnes' second home run in as many games, and the Arizona Diamondbacks escaped with a 4-3 victory over Andy Pettitte and the Houston Astros Sunday.

"This was a big win for us," Gonzalez said. "We beat a pretty tough pitcher."

Vargas threw six innings and Gonzalez scored the go-ahead run after hitting his 534th career double.

Carlos Quentin's broken-bat single brought Gonzalez home from third to break a 2-2 tie in the sixth as the Diamondbacks salvaged the third game of the series.

"To come back, keep grinding, that's a big win for us there," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "To pull that one out today after getting behind like that and not having a great feeling in the early innings is a testament to some perseverance."

Gonzalez led off the inning with a double into the right-field corner to tie Lou Gehrig for 26th on the career doubles list. Conor Jackson, acting on his own, moved Gonzalez to third with a sacrifice.

"I don't know if he's ever bunted in his career," Melvin said. "So he's probably one-for-one."

Byrnes homered for the second consecutive game for Arizona, his team-leading 18th of the season. The 440-foot solo shot to left-center with two outs in the seventh made it 4-2.

Vargas (9-8), who threw a season-high 113 pitches, gave up a two-run homer to Lance Berkman in the first, then blanked the Astros for the next five innings. He allowed six hits, struck out six, walked two and hit a batter in his only his third victory in his last 11 starts.

Luis Vizcaino and Tony Pena each pitched a scoreless inning before Jorge Julio entered in the ninth for the Diamondbacks. He allowed Aubrey Huff's run-scoring single, then struck out Morgan Ensberg with runners on first and third for his 14th save in 17 tries.

Pettitte (10-12), 1-5 against Arizona in his career, gave up four runs and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked one.

"We didn't play that bad," Pettitte said. "They just played a good game."

Stephen Drew was 2-for-3 with a double and made a spectacular play to rob Pettitte of a hit in the sixth. The rookie shortstop made a diving stop to his left, then threw the runner out from his knees.

"I can't say enough about Stephen Drew and the plays that he made out there," Byrnes said. "He was the story of the game, man. It was fun to watch. He's really impressed me defensively, with the bat, the way he handles himself and carries himself around the clubhouse. He's been a real big boost for us lately."

Houston finished its trip 4-2.

"I'll take it, but we had a chance to sweep this series and we had a chance to sweep the series in San Diego," Houston manager Phil Garner said, "and we've got to close the door."

Willy Taveras led off the game with a single, then Adam Everett reached on a fielder's choice. Berkman followed and hit a 3-0 pitch 414 feet, just above the home-run line in straightaway center, for his 30th homer of the season.

The Diamondbacks tied it at 2-2 in the third. Chris Snyder drew a leadoff walk, then Drew doubled off the wall in left to put runners at second and third with no outs. Vargas' broken-bat groundout brought home Snyder, then with two outs, Damion Easley's sharp grounder took a bad bounce at third for a base hit that scored Drew.

Vargas escaped a jam in the third after Ensberg walked and Luke Scott singled to start the inning. The Diamondbacks failed to convert Chris Burke's grounder into a double play, but got the out at second while Ensberg went to third with one out. He was stranded when Brad Ausmus hit into a double play.

The Astros loaded the bases in the fourth thanks to Vargas' throwing error that would have been the third out. But Ensberg grounded out to end the threat. Arizona also turned a double play to escape the seventh.

Houston stranded 11 runners.

"We had our chances," Garner said. "We had some really got at bats today. Unfortunately, we just didn't get the hits we needed."

Notes

  • Arizona OF Jeff DaVanon, who sprained his left ankle sliding into second Saturday night, is expected to be sidelined for at least two games.
  • The Diamondbacks again have no left-handers on their staff after they designated LHP Randy Choate for assignment.
  • Gonzalez leads the NL with 39 doubles.
  • Houston scored 17 runs in the first two games of the series.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Astros third baseman Morgan Ensberg scoops up Carlos Quentin's grounder in the third.  (AP)
Astros third baseman Morgan Ensberg scoops up Carlos Quentin's grounder in the third. (AP)

Players of the Game
Arizona

E. Byrnes
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
Houston

L. Berkman
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

CBSSports.com Shop

Mark Trumbo Diamondbacks Sublimated 10.5'' x 13'' Plaque Shop Now!

Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF4130100 .274
Adam Everett, SS3110002 .240
   a- Craig Biggio, PH1000011 .268
Lance Berkman, 1B3122211 .325
Aubrey Huff, RF4011002 .277
Morgan Ensberg, 3B4000126 .240
Luke Scott, LF4020001 .403
Chris Burke, 2B4010012 .274
Brad Ausmus, C3000022 .226
   b- Mike Lamb, PH1000001 .320
    Eric Munson, C0000000 .214
Andy Pettitte, P3000011 .150
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
   c- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1000010 .231
Totals3531034919 
a-struck out for Everett in the 9th
b-flied out for Ausmus in the 8th
c-struck out for Miller in the 9th
Batting
2B - Adam Everett (20, Vargas)
HR - Lance Berkman (30, Vargas)
SH - Adam Everett (4)
RBI - Lance Berkman 2 (97), Aubrey Huff (35)
2-OUT RBI - Aubrey Huff (15)
Team LOB - 11
Houston Astros
Andy Pettitte (L,10-12) 7.1844161 4.96
Chad Qualls 0.1000000 4.14
Trever Miller 0.1000000 3.97
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 108-70, Chad Qualls 2-1, Trever Miller 2-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 10-6
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 31, Chad Qualls 1, Trever Miller 1
Arizona Diamondbacks
Eric Byrnes, CF4111003 .286
Damion Easley, 2B-3B4011012 .218
Luis Gonzalez, LF4110011 .288
Conor Jackson, 1B3010010 .274
Carlos Quentin, RF4011001 .314
Chad Tracy, 3B4000012 .271
    Jorge Julio, P0000000 .000
Chris Snyder, C2110101 .283
Stephen Drew, SS3120010 .333
Claudio Vargas, P2001012 .083
    Luis Vizcaino, P0000000 .000
   a- Alberto Callaspo, PH1000000 .000
    Tony Pena, P0000000 .000
    Orlando Hudson, 2B0000000 .281
Totals314841612 
a-grounded out for Vizcaino in the 7th
Batting
2B - Luis Gonzalez (39, Pettitte), Stephen Drew (9, Pettitte)
HR - Eric Byrnes (18, Pettitte)
SH - Conor Jackson (1)
RBI - Eric Byrnes (46), Damion Easley (24), Carlos Quentin (13), Claudio Vargas (2)
2-OUT RBI - Eric Byrnes (23), Damion Easley (9)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Drew-Easley-Jackson, Drew-Easley-Jackson
PB - Chris Snyder (6)
E - Claudio Vargas (2, )
Arizona Diamondbacks
Claudio Vargas (W,9-8) 6622261 5.30
Luis Vizcaino (H,20) 1000200 3.63
Tony Pena (H,1) 1100000 2.13
Jorge Julio (S,14) 1311030 4.14
IBB - Berkman by Luis Vizcaino
HBP - Huff (by Claudio Vargas)
Pitches-Strikes - Claudio Vargas 113-68, Luis Vizcaino 16-5, Tony Pena 10-6, Jorge Julio 27-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Claudio Vargas 9-3, Luis Vizcaino 2-0
Batters Faced - Claudio Vargas 27, Luis Vizcaino 4, Tony Pena 4, Jorge Julio 6
Game Information
Attendance - 25999
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Chuck Meriwether, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - Jerry Crawford, Third Base - Brian O'Nora