Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 7/22/12
PHOENIX -- Do not look now, but another NL MVP candidate is emerging. Jason Kubel, come on down. Kubel became the sixth player in franchise history to hit three home runs in a game in the Diamondbacks' 12-3 victory over Houston at Chase Field on Saturday, helping left-hander Wade Miley to his franchise rookie-record 11th victory. Kubel has five home runs in the last four games, and he pulled into the NL lead with 70 RBIs after getting six Saturday. He leads the NL with 11 outfield assists. And he led off the eighth inning with a chance to become the 15th player in modern major league history to hit four homers in a game, after Texas' Josh Hamilton did it on May 8 against Baltimore. Was he going for it? Are you kidding? "Definitely was," Kubel said with a smile. "I got caught in trying to hit it as hard as he was throwing it. Maybe if I would have swung a little easier, I would have had it." Kubel was an equal opportunity launcher. His two-run homer into the first row of the left field seats in the first inning gave the D-backs an early lead, his three-run shot deep into the right field bleachers was the game-breaker in a five-run fourth, and he finished with a solo shot to left-center in the sixth. "Just put some good swings on some balls up. The balls I was missing yesterday I wasn't missing tonight. Just happy with how everything turned out. It was a fun win for us. I definitely could have been a little better. Those three at-bats I was pretty locked in," Kubel said. Kubel stepped out of the dugout for a curtain call after his third homer while giving the folks in Kubel's Korner down the left field line something to relish. It turned out that Kubel could claim just about every corner of the park Saturday, an approach he takes pride in. "I do. I'm happy with driving the ball all over the field, which is what I try to do but haven't always been able to do it. It's something I work on every day, and it's paying off," he said. Only Hamilton (78) and Detroit's Miguel Cabrera (77) have more RBIs. Kubel has his fourth 20-homer season in his last five, falling short only in an injury-plagued 2011, when he had 12 in his final season in Minnesota. He signed a two-year, 15 million contract as a free agent over the winter. Some questioned D-backs general manager Kevin Towers at the time, believing the D-backs were deep enough in the outfield with Justin Upton, Chris Young and Gerardo Parra. Upton finished fourth in the NL MVP voting in 2011, but Kubel has become the D-backs' most valuable offensive weapon, and as far as bang for the buck is perhaps the best free agent signing of the offseason. The Los Angeles Angels spent 240 million on Albert Pujols, Detroit spent 214 million on Prince Fielder and St. Louis spent 26 million on Carlos Beltran to replace Pujols. Beltran was on a short list with Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen the Mets' David Wright, Milwaukee's Ryan Braun and Cincinnati's Joey Votto as the top NL MVP candidates at the All-Star break, but Kubel is making some noise. Kubel has not surprised himself with his production, in part because he identified Chase Field as the perfect antidote to his previous home part, Target Field, which has been one of least hitter-friendly parks since it debuted three years ago. "Not at all. I'm hoping to do more. There is a good amount of baseball left. As long as guys keep getting on base for me, hopefully I can keep going," he said. "I definitely like the park a lot. The team. It's great chemistry here. I clearly liked what they did last year, and I think we have that in us this year and beyond. There are a lot of reasons why I came over here. We have a great team. We have a great chance, and I think we are going to keep it going." Miley, meanwhile, struck out a career-high nine and retired the last 10 batters he faced after walking former D-backs catcher Chris Snyder to load the bases in the fourth, when the Astros scored their only run off him in seven innings. Miley got out of the inning by getting Houston starter Dallas Keuchel on a weak groundball to third. It was a return to form for Miley, who had given up 15 runs and 24 hits in his three previous starts, covering 16 innings. "It's great to get support like that," he said. Follow Jack Magruder on Twitter
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eagles rookie nixes anthem protest after talking to agent

Report: Romo has no ligament damage, to resume training soon

Michael Phelps to be honored with unique Wheaties box

Woman suing Brewers after being struck by foul ball

Report: ‘Strong chance’ J.J. Watt will play in Week 1

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Broncos name Trevor Siemian their Week 1 starter

Report: Jets fielding calls for Geno Smith

Report: Bryan Stork fails physical, rights revert to Pats

Eric Berry signs franchise tender, returns to Chiefs

Brandon Jennings takes swipe at Reggie Miller's career

Report: Kaepernick facing ‘uphill battle’ to make roster

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Six NFL quarterbacks the Cowboys must consider

Dwight Howard trying new way to improve free throw shooting

Eight players who have stepped up in NFL preseason so far

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker