Things were not going well early Tuesday. The D-backs trailed 7-1, and Justin Upton had a beef with the home plate umpire over balls and strikes. But it was the D-backs, not Upton, who erupted shortly thereafter.
In a game that typified their spirited season, the D-backs tied a franchise record by overcoming a six-run deficit in an 11-9 victory over Houston, the second time this season they have come from six runs down to beat the Astros.
Upton, who has 19 extra-base hits in his last 19 games, doubled home two runs to begin a four-run fifth inning as the D-backs closed to 7-5, then hit a tie-breaking two-run home run to cap a four-run sixth inning for a 9-7 lead the D-backs never lost.
The D-backs have 30 come-from-behind victories this season. They have rallied twice after trailing by five runs, twice after trailing by four runs and three times after trailing by three.
"We're going to battle to the end," Upton said.
Upton maintained his composure early in the game after hitting a soft liner to first base to end the third inning. He turned toward home plate and had works with home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor, believing that Bucknor had called a wide strike on the previous pitch. Manager Kirk Gibson spoke to Upton shortly thereafter.
"I said you have a couple of choices. Do what you have to do, but don't get in a bad confrontation,"
Gibson said. "That's all I'm asking. We don't want to lose you for more than one game. Who knows? You might win the game for us."
"The game, the competition, just puts you in situations like that sometimes. We've talked about how Justin has matured. There is another example of it. He didn't get thrown out. He regrouped. He stayed in the game and had a huge game for us."
--RF Justin Upton leads the NL with 32 doubles and 60 extra-base hits after going 3-for-5 with a single, double, home run, and four RBI while leading the D-backs to their second come-from-behind victory from six runs down this season. His tie-breaking, two-run home run for a 9-7 lead in the sixth was measured at 440 feet by ESPN. "On the home run, I saw the ball pretty big," Upton said.
--C Miguel Montero drove in the D-backs' first run with his 25th double, an opposite-field drive to the fence in left field. He leads major league catchers in doubles.
--LHP Joe Paterson has held opponents scoreless in all 10 appearances since the All-Star break, retiring 18 of the 20 batters he had faced. Paterson has given up only one hit and one hit batter in six innings over nine appearances.
--C Henry Blanco is making the most of his limited plate appearances this season. Blanco homered to break up Houston's shutout Monday, his fifth homer in 73 plate at-bats this season. His ratio of one homer every 14.6 at-bats is by far the best on the team. RF Justin Upton's 19.9 ratio was the second on the team entering Tuesday's game. Blanco has played in 26 games.
--LHP Zach Duke has settled nicely into his role as a long man out of the D-backs' bullpen. He has one save and a 3.21 ERA in five relief appearances this season after throwing a career-high four innings in relief against Houston on Monday.
DIAMOND STAT: .702 -- Upton's slugging average in 24 games
since the All-Star break
QUOTABLE: "That game was exhausting." -- Manager Kirk Gibson on the D-backs' 30th comeback victory of the season.
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