HOUSTON -- Arizona Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch has been telling Justin Upton that he's trying to do too much and he doesn't have to be a 'monster.'
He may not be a monster, but the home run he hit Tuesday night sure was.
Ian Kennedy pitched 6 2/3 solid innings as the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Houston Astros 1-0 behind Upton's homer.
The shot to center came in the third inning. Michael Bourn chased the ball up Tal's Hill, but simply couldn't reach it as it sailed over his head and the wall for the 447-foot homer.
"At this point with the way they're pitching me, if they throw me a mistake fast ball I'm going to try to hit it as far as I can and that's what I happened to do," Upton said. "Most of my homers haven't really meant anything, the ones I've hit this year, and for that to be the only run, I didn't want it to be that way, but for us to win this was good."
It is the 10th longest home run in Minute Maid Park history and the longest since a 460-foot one by Lance Berkman almost two years ago.
"That's some pretty raw strength and pretty remarkable," Hinch said. "There aren't many guys in the league that can do that."
It is Arizona's second straight win and extends Houston's losing streak to a season-high tying eight games. The Astros also lost eight in a row to start the year.
Kennedy (2-1) gave up eight hits and struck out three before Juan Gutierrez and Chad Qualls completed the shutout. It was Qualls' sixth save. He got a little help on the final out when Gerardo Parra made a diving catch on a ball hit by Geoff Blum.
"For us to ... make a great play on defense, pitch a gem, hit just enough is different than we've won so far this season," Hinch said. "So it's good to see that we can win games in different ways."
Houston starter Roy Oswalt (2-4) made his sixth straight quality start, but was tagged with the loss behind the Astros' anemic offense.
"You can't blame him for being frustrated a little bit because he has pitched so well," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "He's done everything. At the same time, he's professional, and he's going to do what he has to do."
Houston hasn't scored more than one run in any of the last four games and has managed just five runs in Oswalt's four losses this season. They haven't hit a home run in five straight contests.
Bourn was upset that the team couldn't muster any run support for Oswalt.
"Tonight it's frustrating for us," he said. "You never want to see someone pitch like that (and lose). I'm not going credit to that pitcher this time. It was us this time more than their pitcher. I feel like we could have hit him. We should have hit him, but we didn't."
Oswalt allowed five hits and one run with eight strikeouts in seven innings. Oswalt, who normally works with J.R. Towles, was caught by Humberto Quintero for the first time in a regular season game. Tuesday was Oswalt's second career loss against the Diamondbacks and the first since 2007. He is 9-2 in 12 games against the team.
Chris Young walked with one out in the fourth inning before stealing second base. He moved to third on a single by Parra before the second out. Young was nonchalantly walking back to third base after a pitch landed in the dirt with Kennedy batting. Quintero got the ball to third baseman Pedro Feliz for the putout to end the inning almost before Young realized what was happening.
The Astros made several roster moves after Tuesday's game. Houston optioned Towles to Double-A Corpus Christi, purchased the contract of C Kevin Cash from Triple-A Round Rock and transferred RHP Alberto Arias from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Cash on the 40-man roster. ... Houston 3B Chris Johnson, who has been on the disabled list with a rib cage injury, will begin extended spring training on Wednesday. ... Upton's home run marked the seventh straight game where the Diamondbacks have had at least one home run.