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Houston at Arizona

Scoreboard
Houston (13-15) «204000000690
Arizona (19-8)200100100470

Astros 6, Diamondbacks 4

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHOENIX -- The Houston Astros got six runs in a hurry, just in time before Arizona's young Max Scherzer made a perfect major league pitching debut.

Geoff Blum doubled in three runs and the Astros handed the Diamondbacks only their third home loss in 13 games his season, 6-4 on Tuesday night.

The hard-throwing Scherzer, Arizona's 2006 first-round draft pick out of the University of Missouri, relieved Diamondbacks starter Edgar Gonzalez in the third.

Scherzer retired all 13 batters he faced, seven by strikeout, with a fastball that reached 98 mph on the Chase Field radar gun. It was the most strikeouts ever by an Arizona pitcher in his first big-league game.

"I was so anxious to get out there, so prepared to finally make my major league debut," he said. "I'm just happy to go out there and get it out of the way. I felt comfortable out there, not nervous at all. I just tried to go out there and do my thing."

Houston manager Cecil Cooper was impressed.

"You've got a guy throwing 98 and he had a nice slider to go with it," Cooper said. "He kept the ball down, and when he needed that extra he went and got it. That's a pretty good arm there. I'm just glad we got six and didn't need any more."

Arizona manager Bob Melvin brushed off questions about whether Scherzer would join the rotation.

"We'll take a look at it later," Melvin said.

Jose Valverde, who led the majors with 47 saves for Arizona last year and was traded to Houston in the offseason, pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save in seven opportunities. Valverde had pitches hit 97 and 98 mph, striking out Chris Burke and Eric Byrnes to end the game.

"Everybody knows this is my old team," he said. "I was excited. To strike out this guy and do it for the Houston Astros, it's emotional for me."

The Astros ended Gonzalez's night with a four-run third inning that put Houston up 6-2. Blum drove in three with a bases-clearing double, then scored on J.R. Towles' double to left that replays showed should have been ruled a home run.

"I know it's been few and far between when I've had the opportunities, but it's really nice to contribute, especially with the bases loaded and a team like that, to jump out to a relatively early lead," said Blum.

He also made a nice stop of Conor Jackson's hard grounder to start a double play in the sixth.

Gonzalez (1-2) allowed six runs on eight hits in 2 2/3 innings. Doug Brocail (1-0) threw 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to get the victory.

Jackson had three RBI, including a two-run homer, for Arizona.

Houston starter Jack Cassel allowed three runs on four hits in 4 2/3 innings, falling one out shy of being eligible for the win. He was replaced after walking two batters.

"All I can say is I was confident I could get that last out," Cassel said.

The Astros jumped on Gonzalez for two runs in the first. Michael Bourn singled, then scored from first on Miguel Tejada's double. Tejada scored on Carlos Lee's two-out single off the glove of diving first baseman Jackson.

Cassel retired the first two batters in the Arizona first and had an 0-2 count on Orlando Hudson before the second baseman singled. Jackson followed with a shot into the left field seats, his sixth home run of the season, to tie it at 2-2.

Arizona got a run in the fourth when Hudson tripled and scored on Jackson's ground out, and another to cut it to 6-4 on pinch hitter Miguel Montero's RBI single in the seventh.

Cassel singled with two outs in the second and tried to score from first on Kazuo Matsui's double. But Stephen Drew's relay throw from Jeff Salazar easily got there ahead of the runner to end the inning.

Tejada and Lance Berkman singled with one out in the third, then Carlos Lee walked to load the bases for Blum, who was batting .206 entering the game with three RBI.

Notes

Arizona RHP Micah Owings (4-0), who sprained his ankle Friday in San Diego, will return to the Arizona rotation with a start Friday night against the New York Mets. ... Scherzer struck out 38 and walked three, allowing three earned runs, in 23 innings with Triple-A Tucson. ... Cassel was making his sixth start and eighth appearance in the majors. His brother Matt is backup quarterback of the New England Patriots.

 
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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Players of the Game
Houston

M. Tejada
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Arizona

C. Jackson
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Houston Astros
Kazuo Matsui, 2B4010102 .255
Michael Bourn, CF4110020 .200
Miguel Tejada, SS4221010 .343
Lance Berkman, 1B4100021 .299
Carlos Lee, LF3111100 .262
    Hunter Pence, RF0000000 .242
Geoff Blum, 3B4113001 .208
Jose Cruz Jr., RF-LF4000021 .074
J.R. Towles, C4011020 .197
Jack Cassel, P2010011 .500
    Tim Byrdak, P1000000 .500
    Oscar Villarreal, P0000000 .000
    Doug Brocail, P0000000 .000
   a- Darin Erstad, PH1010000 .302
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Totals35696210  
a-singled for Brocail in the 9th
Batting
2B - Kazuo Matsui (2, E. Gonzalez), Miguel Tejada (9, E. Gonzalez), Geoff Blum (3, E. Gonzalez), J.R. Towles (3, E. Gonzalez)
RBI - Miguel Tejada (22), Carlos Lee (13), Geoff Blum 3 (12), J.R. Towles (10)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee (6), J.R. Towles (7)
CS - Kazuo Matsui (1, 2nd base by E. Gonzalez/Snyder)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Matsui-Tejada-Berkman, Blum-Matsui-Berkman
Houston Astros
Jack Cassel 4.2433221 5.59
Tim Byrdak 0.1000100 0.00
Oscar Villarreal (H,1) 1.1111120 5.19
Doug Brocail (H,4; W,1-0) 1.2100020 3.07
Jose Valverde (S,5) 1100030 6.92
Pitches-Strikes - Jack Cassel 70-41, Tim Byrdak 11-6, Oscar Villarreal 19-14, Doug Brocail 15-12, Jose Valverde 14-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jack Cassel 7-4, Oscar Villarreal 1-0
Batters Faced - Jack Cassel 19, Tim Byrdak 2, Oscar Villarreal 5, Doug Brocail 6, Jose Valverde 4
Arizona Diamondbacks
Chris Young, CF3000102 .219
Stephen Drew, SS4000004 .259
Orlando Hudson, 2B3220100 .271
Conor Jackson, 1B4113011 .341
Mark Reynolds, 3B4000020 .245
Justin Upton, RF4120010 .330
Jeff Salazar, LF3010111 .308
Chris Snyder, C2000122 .210
   a- Chris Burke, PH1000011 .139
Edgar Gonzalez, P0000000 .167
    Max Scherzer, P2000001 .000
   b- Miguel Montero, PH1011000 .333
    Doug Slaten, P0000000 .000
    Brandon Medders, P0000000 .000
   c- Eric Byrnes, PH1000011 .270
Totals3247449  
a-struck out for Snyder in the 9th
b-singled for Scherzer in the 7th
c-struck out for Medders in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jeff Salazar (1, Valverde)
3B - Orlando Hudson (3, Cassel)
HR - Conor Jackson (4, Cassel)
RBI - Conor Jackson 3 (24), Miguel Montero (1)
2-OUT RBI - Conor Jackson 2 (10)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jeff Salazar 1
Arizona Diamondbacks
Edgar Gonzalez (L,1-2) 2.2866220 6.55
Max Scherzer 4.1000070 0.00
Doug Slaten 1000000 3.24
Brandon Medders 1100010 2.84
Pitches-Strikes - Edgar Gonzalez 72-45, Max Scherzer 47-35, Doug Slaten 14-10, Brandon Medders 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edgar Gonzalez 4-1, Max Scherzer 3-3, Doug Slaten 1-2, Brandon Medders 1-1
Batters Faced - Edgar Gonzalez 17, Max Scherzer 13, Doug Slaten 3, Brandon Medders 4
Game Information
Attendance - 20241
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 96
Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - Mike Winters, Third Base - Paul Schrieber