Houston’s Conger, Correa crush D-backs’ hopes for seven in a row
Well, it was fun while it lasted.
Riding a six-game winning streak, the longest for the Arizona Diamondbacks dating back to the 2011 season, the men donning Sedona Red and gray were hopeful to get to .500 by notching their seventh consecutive win Saturday, despite the presence of ace Dallas Keuchel on the hill for the Houston Astros.
Deadlocked at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Astros catcher Hank Conger stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and D-backs starter Jeremy Hellickson rapidly wilting on the mound. Having already provided a jolt of electricity with his solo home run in the third inning, his seventh round-tripper of the year, Conger would inflict more pain and suffering, belting a grand slam that would increase the Astros’ lead to 7-2 as part of a five-run inning for Houston.
It was no doubt Conger’s best single-game performance of the year, as the grand slam more or less capped a day that saw the 27-year old catcher go 3-for-4 with five RBI.
Hellickson would be chased from the game two batters later, finishing a forgettable Saturday having allowed seven hits and seven runs (six earned, including three home runs) through just 3.1 innings of work. Former starter-turned-reliever Josh Collmenter would spell Hellickson later that inning, but would prove only marginally more effective than the man he replaced.
Houston would only add to their mounting lead in the sixth inning when Astros dynamic young shortstop Carlos Correa would provide his best impersonation of Conger, smacking his second home run of the game — a two-run shot — to increase the D-backs’ deficit to 9-2.
Along with his solo home run in the first inning, Correa proved once again Saturday why he’s perhaps the favorite to take home Rookie of the Year honors in the American League, finishing the day 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBI.
Now 1-14 in their last 15 attempts to reach .500, the D-backs will go for the series victory Sunday when Robbie Ray (3-5, 2.70 ERA) climbs the bump to take on Houston’s Collin McHugh (12-5, 4.43 ERA). The game can be heard on Arizona Sports 98.7.