Win streak has D-backs in WC driver's seat

August 31st, 2017

PHOENIX -- Only 10 days ago, the D-backs looked to be in trouble. Fresh off a 12-5 loss to the Twins that left them on the wrong end of a three-game sweep in Minnesota, the D-backs sat a game behind the Rockies for first place in the National League Wild Card race.

Even more worrisome, the Brewers were breathing down their necks for the second Wild Card spot, trailing by just 2 1/2 games, and an Arizona team that owned the third-best record in baseball at the start of July seemed to be coming back to Earth.

Fast forward to Wednesday evening, and those problems seem to have evaporated.

The D-backs smashed three home runs in a 6-4 win over the Dodgers at Chase Field to improve to 8-2 over their last 10 games. Arizona (75-58) now holds a three-game lead over the Rockies for the top NL Wild Card spot.

"I think it's part of our resiliency," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "It's part of who we are and part of what we're growing and learning each and every day that you know that you're not going to have smooth sailing for the entire season.

"Things were going very well for us for the first 3 1/2, four months of the season and we hit adversity. How you climb out of that and how you come back from adversity is how you judge your own character."

Arizona has recaptured its early-season form. It doesn't hurt that its hot-streak is occurring with the first-place Dodgers in town.

"We know we can pitch, we know we can hit and we know that we can hang with any team in this league," said Robbie Ray, who struck out 10 in 6 2/3 innings. "We knew it was going to come around."

got things going for the D-backs early with a solo homer on the fourth pitch of the game. Two batters later, blasted a two-run shot for his third homer in as many days.

Chris Herrmann added a solo shot in the fourth, and Ray helped his own cause later in the inning when he singled and scored on an A.J. Pollock single.

The D-backs ranked 25th in the NL in batting average against left-handed pitchers entering Wednesday, but in the last two games against the Dodgers, they have jumped all over a pair of Los Angeles lefties.

Arizona racked up six runs against on Wednesday, and taxed Rich Hill for six runs on Tuesday.

"You see how we've stuck together," Rosales said. "We've got just solid, smart baseball players on this team, and confident baseball players, knowing that we're going to bust through that. Picking each other up, talking to each other. The communication has been unreal."