When the Diamondbacks signed 37-year-old righthander Bronson Arroyo to a two-year deal worth a guaranteed $23.5 million, it was a move designed to boost the team back into playoff contention.

After a horrid April the playoffs are almost certainly out of the question, but Arroyo has done exactly what he's being paid to do. On Tuesday, he gave up just one run and six hits over seven innings as the Diamondbacks won 4-1 over the Houston Astros.

With the win, Arizona posted its first winning record in a homestand, taking three of five games. The team is 21-16 since April30, including 6-3 when Arroyo starts. Over his past nine starts, dating back to April26, Arroyo has posted a 2.71 ERA.

"I think he's been Bronson Arroyo, what you've seen in the past," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's been very consistent, he knows what to do."

Part of knowing what to do is how to get outs when feeling less than perfect, a kind of physical purgatory Arroyo has been stuck in all season. A back injury pretty much wiped out his spring training, and he spent his first four starts struggling to get past the fifth inning while posting a 9.50 ERA.

Arroyo has been able to play catch-up since, but still hasn't been feeling as good as he'd like. Last month, his strength was sapped by a flu-like bug. Currently, his arm has been sore. Though he's never been known for his velocity, even he was concerned about a sinking fastball that averaged 88 mph but topped out at 86 on Tuesday.