PHOENIX -- The first-place D-backs beat the Marlins, 6-2, on Saturday night at Chase Field.That's right, the D-backs are back in first place after 12 days of looking up at the Rockies. Their half-game lead over Colorado is due to the fact that their once-struggling offense has come to life
PHOENIX -- The first-place D-backs beat the Marlins, 6-2, on Saturday night at Chase Field.
That's right, the D-backs are back in first place after 12 days of looking up at the Rockies. Their half-game lead over Colorado is due to the fact that their once-struggling offense has come to life on this homestand.
The D-backs have scored 36 runs through the first five games of the homestand after scoring a total of 18 runs on their recent nine-game road trip, during which they fell out of first place.
"It's been better since we got home," D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. "We didn't really have much farther down to go so it was bound to get better. We have to keep it going. It's still really early in the year. It's been a good five games. There's a long way to go."
Granted the outburst has come against two of the league's worst pitching staffs, but it has provided a much-needed jolt of confidence to the lineup.
"I feel that," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "I feel like any big league pitcher, no matter what team they're on or how they're performing, have quality stuff. Big league stuff is big league stuff and our guys are going out there and executing and squaring up the baseball, and at times during the little rut that we had we were missing some pitches that were out over the plate and I'm seeing the same velocities and better results right now."
Goldschmidt got the offense started with a solo homer in the first inning. Ironically the homer came on "Paul Solo Bobblehead Night."
"Paul hit a 'solo' shot today," Lovullo joked. "It's nice to see him have success in the first at-bat and see a smile on his face. It's always nice when you get those positive results right off the bat."
After the homer in the first, the D-backs scored two in the second and then got another pair in the third when David Peralta hit a two-run homer.
The two homers came on the heels of a club-record tying six homers Friday night.
"When the guys in front of you are having good at-bats, it puts more stress on the pitcher," Goldschmidt said. "You're not just counting on that one opportunity. You get three, four or five opportunities and hopefully you can come through in one or two of them."
The D-backs collected five hits and five runs off Marlins starter Caleb Smith and they seemed to be on every pitch he threw, as Smith explained postgame.
"I thought tonight was probably the best stuff that I've had all season," Smith said. "It's just that I made a couple mistakes that cost me and they were taking really good swings all night. I don't know if I was tipping, but it's almost like they knew every pitch that I was throwing. Every swing. Like, I couldn't get them off balance."
Goldschmidt's homer was the first of his career on his bobblehead night. He became the first D-backs player since Chris Young in 2011 to homer on a night his bobblehead was given away. Goldschmidt was 2-for-12 in his four previous bobblehead days.
GREINKE GOOD, REALLY GOOD
Zack Greinke (4-4) snapped a two-start losing streak by allowing just one run on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings.
"Zack did a tremendous job," Lovullo said. "He pitched all the way into the seventh inning, he was running off some really quick, easy innings."
HE SAID IT
"It was going pretty bad. We can't do much better than we've done so far this homestand. Hopefully, we can continue it. We're playing pretty good. We should be able to continue it if we just keep doing what we're doing and we'll continue winning games." -- Greinke
The D-backs will go for a three-game sweep when they face the Marlins on Sunday afternoon at Chase Field. The D-backs entered this six-game homestand mired in a slump both at the plate and in the standings, but after taking two of three from the Reds and winning the first two games of the Miami series, their offense appears to be back on track. Matt Koch will get the start for the D-backs opposite Marlins righty Dan Straily, with first pitch at 1:10 p.m. MT.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.