Nine-run fifth propels D-backs past Astros

Nine-run fifth propels D-backs past Astros

Nine-run fifth propels D-backs past Astros
HOUSTON -- In the first four games of their six-game road trip, the D-backs plated nine total runs.

They did that in just the fifth inning on Saturday and cruised to a 12-4 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

The D-backs head into Sunday's matinee looking for a sweep of this weekend's series at Minute Maid Park and a 6-0 record against the Astros this season.

The Astros led, 3-1, heading into the top of the fifth before the D-backs jumped all over starter Jordan Lyles and relievers Xavier Cedeno and Chuckie Fick.

Gerardo Parra led off the fifth with a double. The next seven D-backs all reached and came around to score. Pitcher Patrick Corbin, the ninth batter of the inning, struck out for the first out. Parra struck out in his second at-bat of the inning before Aaron Hill blasted a three-run homer off Fick. Justin Upton popped out to end the inning.

Three walks, three singles, a double, a homer and an untimely error by second baseman Jose Altuve added up to nine runs, the D-backs' season high for an inning and the second-most in an inning in franchise history. They scored 13 in the fourth inning against the Pirates on April 11, 2010.

"It was amazing," outfielder Chris Young said. "Everybody was coming through, but nothing huge until Hilly's three-run homer. Before that, we were getting walks and manufacturing runs."

Three of the D-backs' four highest run totals this season have come against the Astros.

Lyles left the game after facing six batters in the fifth. He gave up seven runs (five earned) on eight hits. His ERA in the fifth inning this season is 16.57 (14 2/3 innings).

"They definitely cashed in when the ball got up in the zone," Astros catcher Chris Snyder said. "The one inning there, that's where you've got to find something you do, whether take a step back and take a couple of deep breaths and relieve the situation and play a little damage control, and we weren't able to do that tonight."

The D-backs scored their first run in the second on back-to-back doubles by Miguel Montero and Young, a Houston native who continues to hit well in Minute Maid Park.

Young added singles in the fourth and fifth and hit his 13th homer of the season in the eighth, finishing 4-for-5 with three RBIs. He is hitting .419 with five homers and 20 RBIs in 15 career games at Minute Maid Park.

Young acknowledged that his success in Houston may just be a coincidence, but he also recognized that it could be a product of being around so many members of his family all weekend.

"When I go in the family room after this game, no matter what type of game I have, I feel like I'm one of the best players in the world, because that's the way they make me feel," Young said. "I think that positive energy carries over onto the field."

In a platoon situation heading into the series, Young started on Friday and Saturday because manager Kirk Gibson thought the outfielder could gain some confidence in his hometown.

"Since I've been here, it's been unbelievable what he's done here," Gibson said.

Corbin, who earned his fifth win of the season, went seven innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. He struck out five and walked one with 88 pitches.

After the first five innings, Gibson and the D-backs coaches told Corbin they wanted him to use his breaking ball more to keep hitters off-balance. With that advice, Corbin motored through the sixth and seventh innings, retiring six in a row.

The Astros managed to plate a few runs off Corbin before the D-backs just about sealed the game with nine in the fifth.

In the third, Tyler Greene's RBI single tied the game. Snyder, a former D-back, hit his sixth homer of the season in the fourth, a two-run shot that gave the Astros a 3-1 lead that didn't hold up long.

Greene added a solo shot in the home half of the fifth. Corbin hadn't given up two homers in a game this season.

Corbin might want to forget about his performance on Saturday, but another rookie will remember Saturday for a long time.

Third baseman Ryan Wheeler hit his first Major League home run in the seventh, a solo shot to left field. He watched Justin Maxwell, the left fielder, instead of the ball.

"When he stopped moving, I figured it was gone," Wheeler said.

Per tradition, the D-backs gave Wheeler the silent treatment after he returned to the dugout. This one wasn't just a couple of moments, though.

"I've had the silent treatment before, but never for four pitches," Wheeler said. "It was pretty long."

"It was one of the longer ones I've ever been a part of," Young said. "I almost thought we were just going to go through an entire inning."

Clark Goble is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.