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Pollock's go-ahead HR in 9th caps thrilling win

D-backs slug three homers to end nine-game, three-city road trip
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

SAN DIEGO -- Their three-city road trip, which included visits to three last-place clubs could have gone better for the D-backs, but it would have felt a lot worse had it not been for Sunday's 4-3 win over the Padres.

With the win, the D-backs finished the road trip with a 5-4 mark and they maintained their 1/2 game lead in the National League West over the second-place Rockies, who beat the Braves on Sunday. Arizona lost two of three in Cincinnati before splitting a two-game series with the Rangers and taking three of four from the Padres.

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SAN DIEGO -- Their three-city road trip, which included visits to three last-place clubs could have gone better for the D-backs, but it would have felt a lot worse had it not been for Sunday's 4-3 win over the Padres.

With the win, the D-backs finished the road trip with a 5-4 mark and they maintained their 1/2 game lead in the National League West over the second-place Rockies, who beat the Braves on Sunday. Arizona lost two of three in Cincinnati before splitting a two-game series with the Rangers and taking three of four from the Padres.

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"Nothing against those teams, but we probably had better expectations," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "You can only imagine one way coming out on the positive side -- winning four games. To come close to that and win a series after the start we got off on, I'm really happy for these guys. I'm very proud of them."

It was a nice bounceback win after the D-backs gave up leads of 3-0 and 5-3 to lose in walk-off fashion Saturday night.

"I think not so much the record on the road trip, but just coming from behind today, twice, and kind of stealing a win," D-backs infielder Daniel Descalso said. "I think that's encouraging. We're going to have to battle against other team's bullpens and score off bullpens if we're going to get into the playoffs and go far. That's something we're going to have to do."

Video: ARI@SD: Peralta slugs a solo homer to right field

The D-backs did manage to get a pair of runs off the San Diego bullpen with Descalso tying the game with a solo homer in the eighth and A.J. Pollock providing the winning margin with a solo homer in the ninth.

"It was an exceptional win," Lovullo said. "We obviously were in need of this to win the series. We know what the stakes are. We knew exactly what was going on, but the guys were able to separate that and execute, and it's pretty impressive."

The competition now begins to stiffen for the D-backs. After an off-day Monday, they open a two-game series with the Angels and then host the Mariners for three.

After that it's a seven-game road trip to face division rivals in the Giants and Dodgers.

Video: ARI@SD: Boxberger locks up the win with a strikeout

To be successful they will need continued contributions from Pollock, who was off to a great start to the year before injuring his thumb on May 14 and missing six weeks.

"I think getting injured ... the hardest part is just the rhythm that you get out of," Pollock said. "There's kind of a flow to a season. Just think about it: You take two months off. It's essentially starting all over again. In the offseason, you get four months, you get two months here, it takes a lot to get back in that rhythm. I feel like I've done a decent job. It's been frustrating because I haven't quite taken off. I feel like everything is there. Hopefully it's just a matter of time."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Daniel delivers: One of the biggest challenges for the D-backs in facing a young Padres team is they are not familiar with a number of their pitchers. That's one of the reasons the San Diego bullpen has been effective against the D-backs, and it was what Descalso was up against when he stepped in against Trey Wingenter with one out, no one on and the D-backs trailing 3-2. Descalso, though, hit an 0-2 offering just over the wall in right to tie things up.

"I swung through a couple of fastballs," Descalso said. "It was a guy I never faced before, throws hard, got a good four-seam fastball and the last one I was able to get on top of and drive it."

Video: ARI@SD: Descalso belts a game-tying solo HR in 8th

SOUND SMART
Paul Goldschmidt set a club record by reaching base in 10 straight appearances when he was intentionally walked in the first inning. The streak came to an end when he struck out in the third, but he still has reached base safely in 25 straight games.

Video: ARI@SD: Goldy crushes foul to the roof deck in left

HE SAID IT
"He threw me a fastball earlier in the count. I just missed it. It was right there. I was hoping I was going to get another opportunity. I fouled off a couple pitches and then, yeah, he threw me a fastball there and I was able to do some damage." -- Pollock, on his ninth inning homer off Kirby Yates

UP NEXT
After taking Monday off, the D-backs will open a five-game homestand with a two-game set against the Angels beginning 6:40 p.m. ET Tuesday at Chase Field. Patrick Corbin (10-4, 3.18 ERA) will start for the D-backs and he has pitched very well of late at home, going 2-0 in two Chase Field outings this month. The Angels have yet to announce a starter for Tuesday.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, A.J. Pollock