PHOENIX -- Every now and again on Wednesday night, center fielder A.J. Pollock took a moment to look around and soak in what potentially was his final game at Chase Field in a D-backs uniform.A free agent at season's end, the veteran didn't let nostalgia distract from the task at
PHOENIX -- Every now and again on Wednesday night, center fielder A.J. Pollock took a moment to look around and soak in what potentially was his final game at Chase Field in a D-backs uniform.
A free agent at season's end, the veteran didn't let nostalgia distract from the task at hand, though, as he hit a key three-run homer in a 7-2 win over the Dodgers that knocked the D-backs' rivals out of first place in the National League West.
Pollock, 30, was selected by the D-backs in the first round of the 2009 Draft and has appeared in 635 games since reaching the big leagues in 2012.
"I definitely took a couple of moments of reflecting," Pollock said. "You never know what's going to happen in this game. I'm just extremely grateful for my time here. I love Arizona. I've been here, it's been home for me for many years and this organization I've been here for almost 10 years. Just a lot of people here that I really appreciate. You never know. We'll see what happens."
The D-backs assured themselves of at least a .500 record, but more importantly they inflicted damage to the playoff chances of their division nemesis as the Dodgers fell one-half game behind the Rockies.
"You always want to finish up strong," Pollock said. "It's been a really tough month for us, to say the least, but our last home game here we came out and played some really good baseball."
The D-backs began September in first place, but -- starting with getting swept at Dodger Stadium -- they slumped badly and were officially eliminated from the postseason race after last Sunday's loss to the Rockies.
Since then, the D-backs managed to take two of three from the Dodgers, their first series win since they won both games of a two-game set against the Angels Aug. 21-22.
"These guys played with a purpose," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "Somebody asked me about four or five days ago what was our goal. These last three games at home, I think that was a common goal for all these guys, and I'm proud of them that they did that."
The D-backs led, 3-2, before Pollock blew things open with his three-run homer with two outs in the fifth. The homer was his 21st, a career high.
"I think the three-run homer by A.J. was a really decisive blow, and it came at a huge time," Lovullo said. "We hope it's not [his last home game]. I hope it's not, personally speaking. I've enjoyed everything that I've ever seen out of A.J. He's full-throttle all the time, and it was a special day for him."
Socrates Brito and David Peralta also went deep, providing more than enough support for Zack Greinke, who allowed two runs over six innings to finish the season 15-11 with a 3.21 ERA. He struck out six to finish with 199.
"Zack Greinke was outstanding," Lovullo said.
The D-backs drew 2,242,695 fans to Chase Field this year, the 10th highest in team history and the best since drawing 2,509,924 in 2008.
HE SAID IT
"This is a special place for me. It's been a special time. It was good to get the win. Obviously it makes everyone feel good, and I'll always remember, if this is it, that I went out at home here with a nice win against a very good team." -- Pollock
The D-backs take Thursday off before closing out the 2018 season with a three games against the Padres at Petco Park. Left-hander Patrick Corbin (11-7, 3.23 ERA) will start Friday's 7:10 p.m. MST opener in what could be the impending free agent's final start in a D-backs uniform. The Padres will counter with rookie left-hander Eric Lauer (6-7, 4.60), who held the D-backs to one run on seven hits in five innings for the win at Chase Field on July 5.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.