Young right-hander Jordan Lyles becomes the latest Houston pitcher to try and shake the team's recent slump today, when the Astros visit Chase Field for the finale of a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Astros, who've lost the first two games of the series and nine of 10 overall, shook up their pitching staff earlier this week in a 10-player deal that sent several pitchers to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Rookie Dallas Keuchel (1-2) was called up to start Saturday's middle game in place of traded lefty J.A. Happ and was charged with seven runs - six earned - on seven hits and four walks in just 3 1/3 innings.
Arizona won, 12-3.
"I made some mistakes over the plate with runners on and that hurt me," Keuchel said.
Lyles, who'll turn 22 in October, has made three starts since his last victory on June 26, when he pitched 6 1/3 one-run innings in a defeat of San Diego.
In three starts since - all Houston losses - he's given up 26 hits and 14 runs in 17 innings.
He's 0-4 in seven road starts in 2012 and got a no-decision in his lone career start against Arizona after allowing 12 hits and seven runs in five innings - allowing a .462 opposition batting average.
On Saturday, Arizona's Jason Kubel hit three home runs and knocked in six runs.
Kubel belted a two-run homer in the first, a three-run blast in the fourth and a solo shot in the sixth to lead Arizona to its third win in its last four games.
Kubel has 46 RBI since June 5, tops in the majors.
"You don't see many of those games," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's got a very short stroke. The way he sets up, he gets the barrel to the ball."
The run support was more than enough for Wade Miley (11-5), who allowed just one run on four hits and two walks with a career-high nine strikeouts.
With the victory, Miley set a Diamondbacks single-season rookie record for wins that had been owned by three other players, including Josh Collmenter (2011), Oscar Villarreal (2003) and Brandon Webb (2003).
Chris Johnson and Justin Maxwell each knocked in a run for Houston.
Arizona's Collmenter gets the call for series finale and aims for a second win after the aforementioned double-digit rookie season last year.
The 26-year-old righty was 10-10 in 31 appearances - 24 starts - for the Diamondbacks last season while posting a 3.38 earned run average across 154 1/3 innings.
He's struggled to regain that success this season while making seven starts in 18 appearances, but he did get his initial win of the year on July 6 after allowing an earned run in six innings of a 5-3 defeat of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He's 1-0 in two career starts against the Astros with a 2.77 ERA.
This is the first series between the teams in 2012. Arizona won six of seven last year and has taken the season series every year since Houston last won in 2006.