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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Houston Astros beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-3

PHOENIX (AP) — Hunter Pence ended a slump with a homer and Lance Berkman also homered to help the Houston Astros beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-3 on Sunday.

Brian Moehler (3-4) scattered six hits over six innings for the Astros, who won for the fourth time in five games. The right-hander allowed three runs, struck out two and walked two for his third win in four starts.

Stephen Drew and Mark Reynolds homered for the Diamondbacks, who have lost five of seven. Arizona is 0-5-1 in six homestands under A.J. Hinch, who took over for the fired Bob Melvin on May 8.

The Astros wasted little time against Diamondbacks starter Billy Buckner (2-3).

Pence was hitless in his last 12 at-bats before homering.

Michael Bourn walked to lead off the game and scored when Miguel Tejada's looping liner into right field skipped under Justin Upton's glove and rolled to the wall for a double. Buckner struck out Pence before Berkman homered onto the porch overhanging center field to make it 3-0.

Drew's two-out, two-run homer off Moehler in the bottom of the first cut the lead to 3-2. Pence hit a two-out home run in the third to extend Houston's lead to 4-2.

Reynolds led off the fourth with his 17th home run to pull the Diamondbacks within 4-3.

But Buckner loaded the bases to start the sixth and the Astros scored twice on a sacrifice fly by Ivan Rodriguez and a slow single up the middle from Jason Michaels to open a 6-3 lead.

Buckner allowed six runs and five hits over five-plus innings with three walks and five strikeouts.

NOTES: Michaels started in place of Carlos Lee, who left Saturday's game with cramping in his left leg and was given the extra day off. ... Rodriguez started for the Astros and tied Bob Boone for second all-time in games played as a catcher with 2,225. Rodriguez needs two games behind the plate to pass Carlton Fisk for the all-time mark. ... Bourn stole his team-leading 21st and 22nd bases before scoring in the seventh. ... Buckner's double was his first career hit. ... Tejada added his major-league leading 23rd double leading off the sixth.

by the associated press

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