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D-backs slide past Astros

Solid defense, double, bunt aid in 4-3 win for Arizona

PHOENIX (AP) ­ A sacrifice bunt by the cleanup batter, spectacular defense by a rookie shortstop and yet another double by Luis Gonzalez.

Throw in a solid outing for Claudio Vargas and Eric Byrnes' second home run in as many games, and the Arizona Diamondbacks escaped with a 4-3 victory over Andy Pettitte and the Houston Astros Sunday.

"This was a big win for us," Gonzalez said. "We beat a pretty tough pitcher."

Vargas threw six innings and Gonzalez scored the go-ahead run after hitting his 534th career double.

Carlos Quentin's broken-bat single brought Gonzalez home from third to break a 2-2 tie in the sixth as the Diamondbacks salvaged the third game of the series.

Gonzalez led off the inning with a double into the right-field corner to tie Lou Gehrig for 26th on the career doubles list. Conor Jackson, acting on his own, moved Gonzalez to third with a sacrifice.

"I don't know if he's ever bunted in his career," Melvin said. "So he's probably one-for-one."

Eric Byrnes homered for the second consecutive game for Arizona, his team-leading 18th of the season. The 440-foot solo shot to left-center with two outs in the seventh made it 4-2.

Vargas (9-8), who threw a season-high 113 pitches, gave up a two-run homer to Lance Berkman in the first, then blanked the Astros for the next five innings. He allowed six hits, struck out six, walked two and hit a batter in his only his third victory in his last 11 starts.

Pettitte (10-12), 1-5 against Arizona in his career, gave up four runs and eight hits in 7-1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked one.

Stephen Drew was 2-for-3 with a double and made a spectacular play to rob Pettitte of a hit in the sixth. The rookie made a diving stop to his left, then threw the runner out from his knees.

The Astros loaded the bases in the fourth, thanks to Vargas' throwing error that would have been the third out. But Ensberg grounded out to end the threat. Arizona also turned a double play to escape the seventh.

Houston stranded 11 runners.

"We had our chances," Garner said. "We had some really got at bats today. Unfortunately, we just didn't get the hits we needed."