An interleague set between teams chasing playoff spots comes to a close in the Lone Star State. The Arizona Diamondbacks are on the road to finish a three game set with the Houston Astros Sunday afternoon. Arizona managed to win the opening game of the series, 4-2, Friday night to draw first blood. The pitching matchup for Saturday’s middle game of the set saw Zack Godley take the mound for Arizona. He was scheduled to face Houston’s Charlie Morton with first pitch in that contest scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.
Arizona Diamondbacks Fighting to Stay in NL Playoff Picture
Arizona had dropped two straight and five of six before getting back in the win column in the opener of this series. The Diamondbacks improved to 78-70 on the year and moved within 3.5 games of Colorado in the NL West entering Saturday. Arizona trailed Los Angeles and St. Louis by three games for the second wild card spot. The Diamondbacks got three hits from David Peralta (two RBI) while Paul Goldschmidt (run), Nick Ahmed (run) and A.J. Pollock (RBI) each added a pair. Robbie Ray didn’t record a decision after throwing 5.1 innings. He allowed two runs on two hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Brad Ziegler (2-6) earned the win with 1.1 scoreless innings of relief while Yoshihisa Hiranopitched the ninth for his second save.
Zack Greinke is on the mound for his 31st start of the season for the Diamondbacks in this contest. He is 14-9 with a 3.11 ERA, a 1.053 WHIP, 37 walks and 185 strikeouts over 188 innings of work on the year. Greinke picked up the win in his last outing, which came against the Rockies on the road Tuesday. He threw 6.2 innings, allowing three runs on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts in a 6-3 Diamondbacks triumph. Greinke is 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP, three walks and 14 strikeouts over 19.1 innings in his last three starts. He makes his 11th career start against the Astros in this contest. In those outings, he is 6-2 with a 2.24 ERA, a 1.172 WHIP, 13 walks and 61 strikeouts over 56.2 innings of work. Greinke is 4-2 with a 2.61 ERA, a 1.105 WHIP, seven walks and 38 strikeouts over 38 innings in seven career starts at Minute Maid Park.
Houston Astros Shooting to Extend AL West Edge
Houston had won three straight and 10 of their previous 11 games before falling in the opener of this series. The Astros dropped to 92-55 on the season and saw their lead in the AL West trimmed to 2.5 games over the A’s. Houston finished the game with just five hits and no player had more than one. Yuli Guerriel had the lone RBI for the Astros as the other run scored on a Carlos Correa double play ball. Dallas Keuchel didn’t factor in the decision despite a quality start. He threw six innings, allowing two runs on five hits with four walks and five strikeouts. Hector Rondon (2-4) took the loss in relief as he was tagged for two runs on three hits with two strikeouts in 1.1 innings of relief.
Justin Verlander is on the mound to make his 32nd start of the season for the Astros in this one. He comes in 15-9 with a 2.72 ERA, a 0.944 WHIP, 35 walks and 258 strikeouts while allowing 27 home runs over 195 innings of work. Verlander picked up the win in his last start, which came on the road at Detroit Monday. He threw seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts in a 3-2 Houston victory. Verlander is 2-1 with a 2.79 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP, four walks and 29 strikeouts over 19.1 innings in his last three starts. He faces the Diamondbacks for the fifth time in this career here. In those outings, he is 3-1 with a 2.36 ERA, a 1.125 WHIP, 10 walks and 34 strikeouts over 26.2 innings. Verlander is 7-7 with a 3.01 ERA, 0.953 WHIP, 31 walks and 206 strikeouts over 155.1 innings in 25 career starts at Minute Maid Park.
- Astros are 7-1 in their last 8 during game 3 of a series
- Astros are 6-1 in their last 7 games vs. a right-handed starter
- Astros are 5-1 in their last 6 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15
- Diamondbacks are 1-4 in their last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter
- Diamondbacks are 2-9 in their last 11 interleague road games vs. a right-handed starter
- Diamondbacks are 1-5 in their last 6 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.1