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Snake Pit Sim Season: 4/28 - All good things...

The Houston Astros snapped Arizona’s winning streak in what turned out to be an ugly game.

The Houston Astros wasted no time in jumping all over Luke Weaver on Tuesday. Singles by Tucker and Brantley, followed by a walk to Bregman, loaded the bases with no one out to start things off. Yordan Alvarez then flew out to Tim Locastro in center field, allowing Tucker to tag up and score without a throw. George Springer then pushed Brantley across by hitting another single before Jose Altuve grounded into a double play to mercifully bring an end to the top of the first.

Six Jose Urquidy pitches later, the Diamondbacks were done and Weaver’s rough outing continued. On an 0-1 pitch Carlos Correa grounded to first baseman, Christian Walker. Walker tossed the ball to Luke Weaver, who was covering, but Weaver dropped the ball and Correa was safe. Carson Kelly then came out and had a one-sided conversation with Weaver. Whatever Kelly said, it worked. Weaver struck out Martin Maldonado swinging on four pitches. Urquidy was then retired on a sac bunt, which wound up being a waste, as Kyle Tucker then flew out to end the threat.

While the Diamondbacks made Urquidy work a bit harder, they still went down in order in the second.

Having finally settled in a bit, Weaver struck out two more Astros in the third. The only base runner for Houston was Alex Bregman, who managed to draw his second walk of the game.

Jose Urquidy remained perfect through three innings.

With one out in the top of the fourth inning, Carlos Correa attempted to bunt for a hit. However, Weaver was able to complete the difficult play and gunned down Correa at first by a full step. Maldonado followed by singling in front of Kole Calhoun in right. That brought Urquidy to the plate. Urquidy to the first pitch he saw and laced a double into the corner in right field. Maldonado went from first to home on the play without a throw home. Ticker then struck out swinging to end the side.

After mowing through the Arizona lineup with little difficulty through the first three innings, Urquidy went back to work on his perfect-o by getting Locastro to ground out weakly to second. That brought up David Peralta. With the count 0-1, Peralta caught all of Urquidy’s offering. With an exit velocity of 110.8 mph, Peralta sent the ball 432 feet into center for a solo-shot, ending the perfect-o, the no-hitter, and the shutout. Ketel Marte then came to the plate and worked his way into a full count. After not getting the call on ball three, Urquidy hit Marte in the ribs just under the arm. Given the count and the fact that he had made some good pitches to Marte, it seems unlikely the plunking was intentional. Still, Marte seemed to take umbrage, perhaps because of how high up he was hit, and decided he would take first via a stop by the mound to give Urquidy a message. The benches cleared. Both Marte and Urquidy were ejected. Jake Lamb was sent to first to run for Marte. Bryan Abreu was brought in to pitch for the Astros. Abreu promptly walked Eduardo Escobar on four pitches. Christian Walker then grounded to second. The Astros managed to get Escobar at second, but Walker beat the relay throw and was safe at first. Lamb took third on the play. Calhoun then took a 3-1 pitch the opposite direction and hit a double that got caught up in the corner in left field. With Brantley unable to field the ball quickly and cleanly, Walker was waved home without a throw. Carson Kelly then flew out to just short of the track in right-center field.

End of the 4th: HOU 3 - AZ 3

In the fifth inning, Ildemaro Vargas took over at second base. On a 2-1 pitch, Weaver hit Brantley in the pocket with a curve that simply never broke. Harsh words were barked from the Houston dugout, but nothing more happened. A fly out to center and two swinging strikeouts later, the Astros were done. The Diamondbacks went in order in the bottom of the fifth.

With one out in the sixth, Correa hit the first pitch of the at-bat just over the wall and out of reach of Peralta to put the Astros back on top. Weaver only needed five more pitches to restore order, resulting in only an eight-pitch frame despite giving up a run.

The Diamondbacks threatened again in the bottom of the sixth. David Peralta hit a leadoff double. He was advanced to third by Escobar on a one-out line drive single up the middle that was knocked down by Correa before it cold get into center field. Both Christian Walker and Kole Calhoun were unable to bring Peralta home, ending the Diamondbacks’ half the inning with runners stranded on the corners.

Weaver went back out to pitch the seventh and managed to retire Tucker. With Weaver’s pitch count at 99 and the heart of the order coming up, Virtual Lovullo turned to Andrew Chafin to come on in relief of Weaver. Chafin got Brantley to line out to second base before surrendering an eight-pitch double followed by an eight-pitch walk. Lovullo had seen enough and he called on Hector Rondon to take over for Chafin. Rondon was unable to slam the door shut. George Springer poked a ball into right field for a single which Alvarez scored from second on before Rondon finally got the third out by retiring Altuve.

The Diamondbacks then went quietly in their half the inning.

Thanks to Kevin Ginkel, so did the Astros in the next.

After a Locastro lead off the bottom of the eighth, David Peralta was plunked by an 0-1 pitch. More heated words erupted from the Arizona dugout, but Peralta kept his cool and took his base. Vargas than slapped a ground ball up the line, past a diving Alvarez at first. Peralta went first-to-home on the play. Vargas then took third on the relay and got in safe, just ahead of the throw. Unfortunately for Arizona, neither Escobar or Walker were able to bring him home.

The ninth was uneventful. Roberto Osuna picked up the save for the Astros.

Final Score: HOU 5 - AZ 4

Player of the game honors went to David Peralta for the work he put in at the plate and his hustle that resulted in the tying run standing at third with less than two outs in the eighth. The two teams will face off again tomorrow as they complete the short two-game series with Josh James (3-1, 3.30) facing off against Mike Leake (4-1, 2.78).

Arizona is now 16-13 on the season - 3rd place in the NL West, half a game behind the Dodgers.