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D-backs' slide continues as chase intensifies

@SteveGilbertMLB
September 14, 2019

PHOENIX -- For a 12-game stretch recently, it did not look like the D-backs could lose. And for the most part, they didn’t -- winning 11 times and clawing to within 1 1/2 games of the second National League Wild Card spot. Then something happened. Last Sunday, they dropped a

PHOENIX -- For a 12-game stretch recently, it did not look like the D-backs could lose. And for the most part, they didn’t -- winning 11 times and clawing to within 1 1/2 games of the second National League Wild Card spot.

Then something happened. Last Sunday, they dropped a game to the Reds in Cincinnati and they haven’t tasted victory since.

Their losing streak reached six Friday night when they fell, 4-3, to the Reds at Chase Field.

Box score

The losses have hurt the D-backs in the postseason chase. The Cubs, who currently hold the second NL Wild Card spot, beat the Pirates on Friday and pushed their lead over the D-backs to 4 1/2 games with 14 remaining.

“We’ve got to make something happen the way that we know that we can,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “You never know. Until there’s that little ‘E’ next to our name [that says we’re eliminated], I know this team is going to fight and claw for everything they can.”

Veteran outfielder Adam Jones has seen a lot in his years in the big leagues. He was asked whether could explain how the D-backs went from red hot to ice cold in such a short period of time.

“It’s an eight-letter word called baseball,” Jones said. “Baseball. It’s unpredictable and you have to ride the wave of baseball. Right now, we’re riding the wave. We’re not riding the wave we want, but we’ve got to turn it around and we’ve got to turn it around ASAP.”

The schedule is still favorable for the D-backs, who have two games remaining in this series against the Reds, six with the Padres, three with the Marlins and three against the Cardinals, the only team they’ll face the rest of the way with a winning record.

“It’s frustrating and not easy to chalk it up to the game, but that’s how it goes when it’s good and how it goes when it’s bad, too,” first baseman Christian Walker said. “Unfortunately, it’s on the wrong end for us. Obviously, we want to finish the year strong and we’re still fighting for something, and every day we’re still showing up to the ballpark to have the opportunity to be where we are. We’ve earned this situation. We’re motivated.”

Runs have come at a premium for the D-backs. During the six-game losing streak, they’ve totaled just 10 runs.

On Friday, they went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.

The Reds, meanwhile, hit a pair of two-run homers to pace their offense.

“When you give up two two-run home runs, you expect that to be enough to keep us in the game, which it did,” Lovullo said. “It’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t get another big hit at a crucial time. We hit some balls very, very hard from an offensive standpoint. We had the right guys up in the right situations, just grinding some at-bats and just couldn’t get the job done.”

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