PHOENIX -- Mark Reynolds picked a fitting night to hit his 40th homer.
After Arizona honored franchise home run leader Luis Gonzalez in a pregame ceremony, Reynolds hit a majestic drive into the left-field second deck during the Diamondbacks' 9-0 rout of the Houston Astros on Saturday.With his two-run shot in the third inning, Reynolds became the second player in the club's 12-year history to homer 40 times in a season. The first was Gonzalez, who hit a career-best 57 in 2001.Gonzalez watched the game from a suite after announcing his retirement following 19 big league seasons."It was pretty cool," Reynolds said. "I'm humbled to be in the situation I'm in. Gonzo did a lot of great things for this organization, for this team, and I can only hope to follow in his footsteps and bring a World Series here and do all the great things he did."As for the significance of hitting 40 homers, Reynolds said: "I've not really thought about it. I just go out there every day and sharpen my cleats and I'm just able to hit a home run every now and then."It's more than now and then.The free-swinging Reynolds is rocketing up the franchise home run list. Although he's only in his second full season, he has 85 homers, good for fifth in Arizona history.Gonzalez leads with 224, followed by Steve Finley with 153, Matt Williams with 99 and Jay Bell with 91.The long ball Saturday night was vintage Reynolds -- a towering drive that seemed as high as the left-field foul pole."Every time he hits one, it tops the previous one," Arizona manager A.J. Hinch said.Reynolds' shot put the Diamondbacks ahead 5-0 in the third, and that was plenty of cushion for starter Jon Garland (8-11), who threw seven shutout innings.Garland gave up only five hits and a walk. He struck out five and did not let a runner reach third."He was just in complete control," Hinch said. "It was an excellent performance."Garland won back-to-back starts for the first time since last September. He won for only the fourth time since May 19.Justin Upton had three hits, including his 21st homer, and Miguel Montero had a three-run double for the Diamondbacks, who have outscored the Astros 23-7 in the first two games of a three-game series."We haven't pitched very well the last two days, and that makes a lot of hitters look like they're a whole lot better than they are," Houston manager Cecil Cooper said.Arizona roughed up Astros starter Bud Norris (3-3) for the second time in six days.Last Sunday, Norris lasted one inning against the Diamondbacks, giving up six runs on six hits and three walks.This time, he went five innings, allowing six runs on five hits and four walks. He struck out three."I'm thinking too much, I think," Norris said. "If I just go out there and let it ride a little bit naturally, it's a lot better. I didn't throw that many strikes early, and that always gets you in trouble."Norris handed the Diamondbacks their first run in the second inning.With runners on second and third and two outs, Cooper ordered an intentional walk to No. 8 hitter Brandon Allen. Norris uncorked the first pitch to the backstop, allowing Montero to score from third.Arizona led 3-0 in the third when Reynolds hit an 0-1 pitch into the first row of the second deck -- an estimated 439 feet.Two innings later, Upton led off with a homer to left to put the Diamondbacks up 6-0.
Arizona RHP Dan Haren (12-8, 2.73 ERA) will face Houston LHP Wandy Rodriguez (12-8, 2.82) in Sunday's series finale. ... Gonzalez will join Arizona's front office as an assistant to president and CEO Derrick Hall. ... Houston RHP Roy Oswalt turned 32. ... Chris Young, recalled from Triple-A Reno on Saturday, went 0 for 3, extending his slump with the Diamondbacks to 2 for 30.