D-backs achieve feat unseen in NL since 1907

Arizona rallies in 10th, winning 9th straight series to open season

April 28th, 2018

WASHINGTON -- The 1907 Cubs opened the season with nine consecutive series wins, launching them to a 107-win campaign and the first of two straight World Series titles.
Whether or not the D-backs can match the latter portions of the Cubs' accomplishments remains to be seen, but Arizona became the first National League team in 111 years to match Chicago's season-opening feat.
A.J. Pollock drew a bases-loaded walk against in the 10th inning, lifting the D-backs to a 4-3 win over the Nationals on Saturday afternoon at Nationals Park. The win -- which clinched the team's ninth straight series victory -- moves Arizona into a tie for the Majors' best record at 19-7, matching the 2008 club for the best 26-game start in franchise history.
"It just means that we're doing a lot of things right and we're a good baseball team," manager Torey Lovullo said. "We're excited about that. We know that we're having a lot of success and it takes a different approach day by day. We're always ready to play and perform."

The D-backs -- playing without for the first time this season as the first baseman received a rare day off -- got two home runs from , the first multi-homer game of his career. Pollock -- Friday night's hero for Arizona -- also delivered a clutch, game-tying hit in the eighth inning.
"When you have a good team, you never feel like you're out of the game," Pollock said. "You don't know who it's going to be, but we've had a lot of different guys step up throughout the year."
Nick Ahmed's leadoff double against left-hander Sammy Solis in the 10th sparked the game-winning rally, though it was a lack of command by Washington's bullpen that allowed the D-backs to take the lead. Solis walked Peralta with one out, then the right-handed Adams issued free passes to and Pollock, the latter forcing in the go-ahead run.
"We practice and preach patience -- and it worked out," Lovullo said. "So many things happened inside of today's game that helped us get to that point."

The nine-series winning streak matches the longest in D-backs history, previously accomplished in both 1999 and 2007.
"That's the goal; you're trying to win series," Pollock said. "It's great to have a chance to sweep here, but if you can win the series and do that as many times as possible, you're going to have a good team."

The last team in the Majors to open a season with nine straight series wins? The 2001 Seattle Mariners, who went on to win an American League-record 116 games that season.
"Hopefully we tell a really good story by the end of the year," Lovullo said. "We can remember how good we played."
Peralta hit solo homers off in the fourth and sixth, registering the first multi-homer game of his career. Hellickson was effective against the rest of the lineup, holding the other eight spots in the lineup to 3-for-16.
took a no-decision, allowing three runs on seven hits and one walk, striking out seven over 6 2/3 innings. All three runs came courtesy of the home run; belted a two-run homer in the third, while hit a solo shot in the sixth.

The bullpen continued its recent dominance, recording another 3 1/3 innings of scoreless ball. In 16 2/3 innings during the first five games of the road trip, Arizona's relief corps has allowed one run, good for a 0.54 ERA. Over the past 12 games, the bullpen's ERA stands at 1.04, giving up only five earned runs over 43 1/3 innings.
"We're having fun right now," Peralta said. "It's always fun when you're winning."
Corbin escapes jam: Already trailing by a run, Corbin found himself in trouble in the fifth after led off with a double. After a groundout moved Sanchez to third, Corbin got both Hellickson and to ground out without allowing Sanchez to score, keeping the deficit at 2-1.
Box them in:Brad Boxberger got two quick outs in the 10th before the Nationals loaded the bases. With the game hanging in the balance, Boxberger got Michael A. Taylor to ground out up the middle, earning his eighth save in as many chances this season.

Corbin took a Zimmerman comebacker off his left hand in the sixth inning, though he remained in the game. Corbin said the ball "just hit my pinkie a little bit," and while it was numb initially, he quickly regained feeling in the finger.
"I just tried to react, get out of the way and maybe put a glove on it," Corbin said. "It could have been worse, for sure. I got lucky there."

Peralta's sixth-inning home run shouldn't have been much of a surprise. Since the start of 2017, opponents are slugging .671 against Hellickson after his second time through the order -- the highest of any pitcher in the Majors (min. 100 batters faced).
Peralta's second home run of the game had an exit velocity of 111.7 mph, the third-hardest-hit homer Statcast™ has tracked for the outfielder. Peralta had a 112.7-mph home run against on Aug. 11, 2017, and a 115.3-mph blast against Ryan Vogelsong on April 7, 2015, each of those coming at Chase Field.

The D-backs will send left-hander Robbie Ray (2-0, 5.13 ERA) to the mound Sunday (10:35 a.m. MST) against the Nationals, looking for a three-game sweep and their 20th victory of the season. Washington will counter with left-hander (2-2, 3.04), hoping to inch closer to the .500 mark.