HOUSTON -- After his team's latest loss, Arizona manager A.J. Hinch figured it was time to talk.
Brian Moehler won for the first time in more than a month and the Houston Astros beat the slumping Diamondbacks 4-2 on Saturday night to match a season high with their fourth consecutive victory.The Diamondbacks have lost seven straight, their longest skid since dropping seven in a row in June 2006. After the game, Hinch held a brief team meeting."We'll keep it in house what was said," Hinch said. "But it was not anything that isn't obvious. We've had a miserable week and we need to be sure and keep our chins up."This is not easy on anybody. But today's loss doesn't have to lead to tomorrow's. A week ago we were hitting on all cylinders but right now we're not. We need to get that back," he added.Carlos Lee had two hits and a go-ahead sacrifice fly to help Moehler (8-9) end his four-game losing streak. The right-hander went 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and six hits for his first win since July 20 against St. Louis. He walked two and struck out three."I felt I had pitched pretty well the last two starts," Moehler said. "So I wasn't worried about coming out and trying to do anything different tonight. I felt about the same, although location-wise I was probably a little better. I felt I had much better control of my fastball."Tim Byrdak, Sammy Gervacio and Jeff Fulchino combined for 2 1/3 innings of shutout relief. LaTroy Hawkins earned his 11th save by pitching a scoreless ninth.Geoff Blum and Miguel Tejada also had two hits apiece for Houston."We got a quality start from Moehler," manager Cecil Cooper said. "I thought he did a really good job after the first inning."Max Scherzer (7-8) gave up four runs and seven hits in five innings for Arizona. He struck out seven.Augie Ojeda doubled twice for the Diamondbacks.Arizona jumped on Moehler early with three straight hits to begin the game, including Gerardo Parra's RBI single. Mark Reynolds' groundout made it 2-0.Houston tied it in the second when Lee singled and Blum doubled to right.When Alex Romero bobbled Blum's hit for an error, Lee scored and Blum went to third. One out later, Kaz Matsui doubled to drive in Blum for a 2-all tie.Lee's bases-loaded sacrifice fly drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth. Blum followed with an RBI single to make it 4-2.The long fifth inning was tough on Scherzer."It was pretty taxing," he said. "I was having to reach back and try to keep making pitches when they were running the counts up. It wore me down a little bit."But we're not playing good baseball right now. One game keeps piling on top of another. We have to find a way to dig our way out of this," he said.
Reynolds' walk in the sixth was the first by the Diamondbacks in a club-record 153 plate appearances. The streak started Aug. 17. ... Arizona recalled infielder Brandon Allen from Triple-A Reno and started him at first base, his first major league game. He singled for his first career hit in the fourth. The Diamondbacks optioned infielder Josh Whitesell to Reno to make room on the roster. The 23-year-old Allen was acquired from the Chicago White Sox for Tony Pena on July 7. ... Arizona SS Stephen Drew left the team to be with his pregnant wife. Manager A.J. Hinch said he thought Drew could be back in "a couple of days." Ojeda replaced Drew in the starting lineup. ... Astros reliever Wesley Wright, on the disabled list since Aug. 12 with a left shoulder strain, will throw a bullpen session Sunday, then leave for a rehab assignment at Triple-A Round Rock on Monday. Wright will throw a simulated game there Tuesday and probably pitch in a game Thursday. ... Doug Brocail, out since Aug. 5 with a strained right shoulder, began a rehab assignment at Round Rock.