PHOENIX (AP)Kole Calhoun hit his first career inside-the-park homer with the help of a crazy bounce, David Peralta had four RBIs and the Arizona Diamondbacks used a nine-run burst in the fourth inning to beat the Houston Astros 14-7 on Wednesday night.
The Diamondbacks broke out of their extended early-season slump by sending 14 batters to the plate in the fourth, turning a 4-0 deficit into a 9-4 lead. The offensive avalanche included four singles, three doubles, one triple, one walk, a hit by pitch and a strange inside-the-park homer that started the scoring.
”You don’t see that very often. That got our offense going,” Peralta said. ”That’s what we needed. We needed this kind of game to get everyone going. This is just the beginning of the good stuff that’s going to happen with us.”
Calhoun hit a pitch from Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1) down the right-field line and the ball hit the metal base of the fence in the corner, which sent it ricocheting past George Springer and down the warning track into right-center.
By the time Myles Straw could grab the ball and fling it towards the infield, Calhoun was rounding third and chugging for home. He scored standing up with a big grin across his face. At 5-foot-10 and 210 pounds, Calhoun is not a speedster and he was obviously out of breath as his teammates celebrated and laughed.
”It lit a fire in the dugout. We were able to smile in the dugout for the first time in a long time,” Calhoun said. ”That’s kind of what we needed. Needed to relax. It feels like everyone’s putting a lot of pressure on themselves to go out and be the hero.”
”I think he was tired for two innings,” Peralta said, laughing.
Added manager Torey Lovullo with a grin: ”It was a sight for all of us.”
The Diamondbacks came into the game as one of the worst-hitting teams in the big leagues with a .194 average and just two homers through 11 games. But they broke out with 16 hits on Wednesday, including 10 for extra bases.
Peralta hit a triple with the bases loaded and added a solo homer, Stephen Vogt had two doubles, Ketel Marte had three hits and Nick Ahmed and Eduardo Escobar each hit a two-run homer.
The Astros built their 4-0 lead with the help of Kyle Tucker’s two-run homer and Abraham Toro’s solo shot. McCullers retired his first nine batters.
But the right-hander fell apart in the fourth and was finally pulled after facing 10 batters in the inning. He gave up eight earned runs over 3 2/3 innings. Springer hit a two-run homer in the fifth to pull the Astros to 9-6, but they couldn’t get any closer.
Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray (1-2) gave up six runs over five innings, including three homers.
SUN’S OUT, BALLS FLY
The Diamondbacks decided to open Chase Field’s retractable roof after the third inning, which is fairly rare in August. Once it opened, the homers started flying in the desert: The Astros hit three and Arizona hit four over the final six innings.
McCullers wasn’t happy with the decision to open the roof. He said the ball started to carry better and it got very dry.
”They told us before the game they were going to open the roof and when they open the roof, this place plays like Colorado,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. ”I knew before the game, this place, you never really feel safe here because of big gaps and the ball jumps and they start hitting the ball out of the ballpark. It seemed like when they opened the roof, the ball started carrying even better. They jumped us pretty good.”
Astros: OF Michael Brantley (quad) was out of the lineup for a second straight game.
Diamondbacks: Lovullo said RHP Corbin Martin recently threw two innings and 26 pitches during an intrasquad game. Martin made five starts for the Astros last season in his first major league action before he needed Tommy John surgery. He was traded to the Diamondbacks after the injury and is continuing his rehab.
Astros: Houston has shuffled its rotation and RHP Brandon Bielak (2-0, 1.69 ERA) will make his first career start Thursday in the finale of the three-game set.
Diamondbacks: RHP Zac Gallen (0-0, 2.70) took a no-decision in his first two starts.
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