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Miranda rips his first two-run shot to right

HOUSTON -- After a night game in Denver on Thursday night, the D-backs arrived in Houston in the wee hours of the morning and, through four innings Friday night, they played like a team in desperate need of a nap.

But a pair of home runs from Juan Miranda and another solid outing from the bullpen helped shake the D-backs from their doldrums as they matched a club record by overcoming a six-run deficit to beat the Astros, 7-6, in front of 21,834 at Minute Maid Park.

The red-hot D-backs have won 10 of their last 11 games and remain 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Giants in the National League West.

"There's no question we were tired today," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We came in tired, [but] they picked it up and dug it out throughout the game. That's very rewarding that they pushed that hard."

Gibson and his coaching staff worked hard throughout the spring to build a mental toughness in the team, and it appeared to pay dividends on Friday.

D-backs starter Daniel Hudson struggled from the get-go as he allowed the Astros to score two runs in the first, three in the second inning and one more in the fourth to dig an early 6-0 hole.

"Obviously, I didn't have good stuff early in the game," Hudson said. "Two-strike pitches were right down the middle, every single time."

Meanwhile, Houston starter Brett Myers seemed on his way to an easy victory as he limited the D-backs to just a pair of hits through four innings.

The first signs of life from the D-backs came in the fifth when Miguel Montero led off with a walk and Miranda followed with a home run to right.

It was the fourth homer on the season for Miranda, who was playing in his second straight game after missing three games of the road trip with a bruised right hand.

One inning later, it was Miranda again who provided the offensive spark, smacking another two-run homer that landed four rows away from where his other one did.

"I felt happy twice because it was my first two-homer game and the team won," Miranda said.

"I felt the pitches I threw to him were good pitches," Myers said. "The guy put on good swings. It seems it's not working out in our favor."

Suddenly, the D-backs were within 6-4, and Myers' night was done.

"Myers kind of lost it a little bit," Gibson said. "We just put pressure on them, we kept the pressure on them."

Hudson (6-5) seemed to find himself as he retired the Astros in order in the fifth and sixth innings.

"I just told myself, 'Look, they've got enough faith in me to keep throwing me out there,' and I just kept telling myself to just 'Go out there and do what you know how to do, and that's throw good quality strikes,'" Hudson said.

The win was the sixth for Hudson in his last seven starts.

"I saw a lot of character," Gibson said as to why he stayed with Hudson. "I just felt he was the best guy. He was throwing the ball very well later in the game, and I felt he was the guy to hold them down."

Pinch-hitter Willie Bloomquist led off the seventh with a single and the D-backs managed to send eight batters to the plate as they scored three times to go up 7-6.

The big play of the inning came with no one out, one run in and the bases loaded as Chris Young hit a tapper back to the mound. Astros reliever Wilton Lopez fielded the ball and misfired on his throw home. Meanwhile, catcher Humberto Quintero was flattened at the plate by Ryan Roberts. As the ball squirted away, Kelly Johnson came around to score the third run of the frame.

"It was a slow roller and I started running in and he just sat down right in front of the plate," Roberts said. "I was going to try and go around him, but there was just no way I could have slid around him. You never want to see anyone get hurt in this game so that wasn't the point. Again, I'm just trying to score."

Kam Mickolio and David Hernandez pitched into and out of jams in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, while closer J.J. Putz finished things off to record his 15th save in as many opportunities.

"They're grinding," Gibson said of his team. "You guys should be able to see that. I'm cautious when I talk about any kind of little success that we're experiencing, [but] it's a good feeling. We hope the momentum goes on. We could have laid down early in the game. Everybody turned it on, did their job and it feels very good." Comments