D-backs hold lead in NL West as California road trip begins

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

After returning to Chase Field from an 11-day road trip, the Diamondbacks swept a two-game set against the Angels, but dropped two of three against the Mariners this past weekend. 

August 24: Mariners win 6-3
August 25: Mariners win 4-3
August 26: Diamondbacks win 5-2

The D-backs will now hit the road to California to play a three-game series against the Giants and then four games against the Dodgers.

Goldy

Paul Goldschmidt hit his 30th home run of 2018 on Sunday. The 3-run homer was a part of a big third inning for the D-backs.

It is the fourth time in Goldy’s career that he has reached the 30-home run mark in a season. Last season the first baseman had 36 home runs, a career-high.

In the last month, Goldschmidt is batting at .360 with seven doubles, seven home runs and 19 RBIs.

Greinke

In his start on Sunday, Greinke notched his first win in a month, utilizing his curveball and going 6 2/3 innings allowing five hits, no earned runs, and six strikeouts.

“I did use it a lot,” Greinke said of using his curveball on Sunday. “I think I used it a little more on lefties. They had a lot of lefties today and it worked.”

📦🍔

Brad Boxberger was able to get the save on Sunday in the D-backs finale win, but Saturday Boxberger gave up a two-run RBI double in the ninth by Kyle Seager that forced extras where the Mariners would walk it off to take the series.

Saturday’s blown save was Boxberger’s sixth of the season.

At this time of year, coming into the last month of the regular season, Lovullo said that it can be hard to close games with the race of the postseason heating up.

“I don’t want the pressure or the distraction of any situation to overcome what these guys need to do,” Lovullo said postgame on Sunday. “Pitch-by-pitch, moment-by-moment, that’s what we focus on and that’s what we talk about here.”

Bull and Bob

On Friday, Zack Godley, nicknamed Bull, had a throwing error in the third that lead to a big inning for the Mariners to start the series. Godley gave up five runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts in his five inning outing.

Postgame Friday, Godley said it wasn’t fair to point the undoing of that inning to the throwing error and that other than the third he felt he threw the ball well.

“That’s one play and one run,” Godley said. “What matters is what happened after that. I made good pitches and they put good swings on the ball…I did what I wanted, I made pitches where I wanted to get ground balls, they just put them in places that got hits.” 

In his start on Saturday, Robbie Ray, known this weekend as Bob, went five innings allowing one run on five hits, one home run, with seven strikeouts. His pitch count got high, but he was able to get out of two bases-loaded jams showing signs of coming out of the tough last couple months the lefty has had.

NL West

This is going to be an important week in the NL West. With the win on Sunday for the D-backs, and a loss to St. Louis by the Rockies, Arizona holds a one game lead in the division as they hit the road. The Dodgers sit two and a half games back heading into the week after sweeping the Padres.