June 12, 2024

Díaz homers twice to help Houston Astros down Colorado Rockies 6-4

Colorado Rockies third base coach Warren Schaeffer, left, congratulates designated hitter C.J. Cron (25) as he rounds the bases on his home run against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 5, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

By KRISTIE RIEKEN AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON (AP) — Yainer Díaz homered in his first two at-bats and Jeremy Peña added a two-run shot in his return from injury to lead the Houston Astros past the Colorado Rockies 6-4 on Wednesday.
Díaz had a solo home run in the second inning and his two-run homer made it 3-0 in the fourth in his first career two-homer game.
“It was right on time,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He drove in all the first three runs with some booming home runs and we needed that.”
Peña’s home run came later in that inning to push the lead to 5-0. He returned after missing five games because of a stiff neck.
“I’m just glad I’m back out there with the guys,” he said. “Those five games were tough for me watching from the dugout, but the guys put together great games.”
The Rockies cut the lead to 1 on a homer by Randal Grichuk in the seventh, but Houston added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning to sweep the two-game series and secure a fourth straight victory.
It’s Houston’s seventh win in eight games.
C.J. Cron also homered for the Rockies, who dropped their 10th straight road game.
Houston starter J.P. France (4-3) allowed six hits and three runs in six innings. Ryan Pressly pitched a scoreless ninth for his 19th save.
It’s the seventh straight start of at least six innings for France, a rookie who has made 11 career starts.
“It was a grind but I ended up giving the team a chance to win again,” France said. “And I was able to just keep the streak rolling.”
Colorado’s Chase Anderson (0-4) yielded seven hits and five runs in four innings for his fourth straight loss. He has allowed 30 hits, 27 runs and eight homers in that span.
There was one out in the second when Díaz’s first homer put the Astros on top 1-0.
Kyle Tucker singled to open Houston’s fourth but was caught trying to steal second base. José Abreu singled to right field before Díaz connected again to make it 3-0.
Corey Julks singled with two outs and Peña pushed the lead to 5-0 when he sent Anderson’s next pitch into the seats in right field for his 10th homer this season.
Nolan Jones walked to start the fifth for Colorado before a one-out single by Ezequiel Tovar. A single by Harold Castro scored Jones to cut the lead to 5-1. A wild pitch by France left runners on second and third and Jurickson Profar made it 5-2 with an RBI single.
France limited the damage in the inning when Kris Bryant grounded into a double play.
Cron’s homer came with two outs in the sixth inning to get the Rockies within 5-3.
Hector Neris replaced France for the seventh and Grichuk sent his second pitch into the seats in left field to cut the lead to 1.
Julks and Peña hit consecutive singles with no outs in the seventh. Mauricio Dubón then lined a single to center field to score Julks and make it 6-4.
DAYTIME GAME TIME
The Astros played their fifth straight day game, which is their longest stretch of day games since also playing five in a row from Aug. 30 to Sept. 3, 2007.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Astros: 2B Jose Altuve sat out for a second straight game after injuring his left oblique in batting practice Tuesday. But general manager Dana Brown said Wednesday he doesn’t believe the injury is serious. … RHP José Urquidy (right shoulder discomfort) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Thursday as he continues his rehabilitation.
UP NEXT
Rockies: Colorado is off Thursday before opening a three-game series at San Francisco on Friday night.
Astros: Houston hasn’t announced its rotation for the opener of a four-game series against Seattle on Thursday night.