PHOENIX -- The end result wasn't what the D-backs were hoping for, but A.J. Pollock put on a one-man show for Arizona in Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Reds to close out the first half of the season.In his sixth game back from a groin injury that kept him on
PHOENIX -- The end result wasn't what the D-backs were hoping for, but A.J. Pollock put on a one-man show for Arizona in Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Reds to close out the first half of the season.
In his sixth game back from a groin injury that kept him on the disabled list from May 14 to July 4, Pollock hit a solo homer, stole two bases and made a tremendous diving catch to rob Scott Schebler of a hit in the fourth inning.
With the first half coming to a close, a healthy Pollock will serve as a blockbuster addition of sorts for the D-backs, who will enter the All-Star break with a 53-36 record, good for the best first-half start in franchise history.
"I feel like I'm just kind of getting in a rhythm," Pollock said. "It's good. I got a couple games in, will take a couple days off, and I'm excited to get back at it."
The 2015 All-Star and Gold Glove winner spent the last half of June on a rehab assignment in Triple-A Reno. On June 30, he went 2-for-3 with two homers in a rehab game in El Paso and was recalled for Arizona's road series with the Dodgers shortly after.
"Rehab is a mental grind, and it's a physical grind," Pollock said. "You're off in the Minors, and it's like taking a three-week road trip. It's tough, but this is the reward you get for all the hard work, just getting up here and being back with the guys. It feels good to be back."
Pollock led off the bottom of the first inning by drawing a walk from Reds starter Homer Bailey, then got a strong jump and stole second without a throw. In the bottom of the third, shortly after the Reds had taken a 1-0 lead, Pollock smacked a one-out homer to right field that had a 105-mph exit velocity, according to Statcast™.
In the fourth, Schebler blooped a pitch into shallow center field, and Pollock raced in a full sprint and made a diving catch to rob him of a hit.
"I know that it's coming together piece by piece for him," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "I know this break will be a nice little refresher for him, too, because he's been grinding and trying to get back for us. So I look for good things in the second half from A.J."
Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.