PHOENIX (AP) - The Houston Astros' season went from very bad to even worse on an awful road trip to the West.
Houston dropped its sixth straight and wrapped up a 1-9 trip with an 8-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. Arizona outscored the Astros 33-13 in the three-game sweep.
``We are glad we are going home,' Astros manager Brad Mills said. ``It seems like it has been forever since we have been home.'
The Astros have dropped 19 of 21 as they prepare to open a three-game series against Cincinnati.
Things looked all right for Houston for a time in the Arizona series finale, with Jordan Lyles cruising until the sixth inning. Then the Diamondbacks erupted for a season-high seven runs.
``He was throwing the ball so well,' Mills said.
The inning turned on Miguel Montero's ground ball up the middle with the bases loaded.
Shortstop Marwin Gonzalez chased it down. He flipped the ball to second baseman Jose Altuve, who tried to catch it with his bare hand but dropped it. Two runs scored on Gonzalez's error and Arizona led 3-2.
``He threw the ball to my side,' Altuve said. ``At that moment, I thought that I couldn't get it with my glove so I tried to barehand it. I was just trying to catch it. I thought that was the only chance I had.'
Jason Kubel homered for the sixth time in five games and Chris Young added a three-run shot for Arizona.
Kubel, coming off a three-homer game Saturday night, led off the second inning with his 21st of the season. Young's homer highlighted the Diamondbacks' big seventh.
Arizona, in the midst of a 10-game homestand, pulled within a game of .500 (47-48).
``We want to continue to roll on this,' manager Kirk Gibson said. ``We know when we come off this homestand it's very important that we get over .500. We head on the road for virtually all of August.'
Justin Maxwell homered for Houston as the Astros lost their sixth straight and 19th in 21 games. Houston was swept for the eighth time this season.
Josh Collmenter (2-2), back in the rotation after touted prospect Trevor Bauer was sent back to Triple-A Reno, gave up two runs and seven hits through six innings to get the win. Collmenter struggled mightily early in the season, then had success in a long relief role before getting his chance to start again.
Kubel also singled and tripled. Gerardo Parra singled in two runs for the Diamondbacks, whose 12 hits gave them 40 for the series.
Lyles (2-7) allowed eight runs, five earned, and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings. He nursed a 2-1 lead going into the sixth before things fell apart.
``Up until the sixth inning me and Corp (catcher Carlos Corporan) were doing a pretty good job,' Lyles said. ``The wheels fell off in the sixth. I've got to make better pitches when your back is against the wall.'
After Montero's grounder, Young lofted a 3-2 pitch into the left-field seats and it was 6-2.
Singles by Lyle Overbay and pinch-hitter Ryan Roberts put runners at first and second. Both advanced on a passed ball and scored on Parra's single to make it 8-2.
Maxwell lined a 1-1 pitch off the top of the porch in left-center for his ninth home run to put Houston up 1-0 in the second. Kubel's homer just inside the right-field foul pole in the Arizona second tied it.
Consecutive doubles by Altuve and Gonzalez to start the sixth gave Houston a short-lived 2-1 lead. Gonzalez took third on a groundout but was nabbed in a rundown when Maxwell failed to put down a suicide squeeze.
NOTES: Lyles is 0-5 in eight road starts this season. ... Kubel's second-inning homer was his 500th career RBI. ... Hill, who extended his hitting streak to 13 games, appeared in his 1,000th major league contest. ... The Diamondbacks open a three-game series with Colorado on Monday. RHP Ian Kennedy (7-8, 4.33 ERA) goes for Arizona against recently acquired Jonathan Sanchez (1-6, 7.76 ERA with Kansas City). ... The Astros return home for a three-game series with Cincinnati. Wandy Rodriguez (7-8, 3.75) pitches for Houston against Mat Latos (8-3, 4.33). ... The Diamondbacks scored five or more runs in an inning three times in the series. ... Parra was picked off twice. ... RHP Brad Bergeson, claimed off waivers by Arizona from Baltimore on Friday, pitched a scoreless seventh.
The Associated Press News Service
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