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Diamondbacks finish 4-2 on division road trip and return to .500

Diamondbacks finish 4-2 on division road trip and return to .500

Diamondbacks finish 4-2 on division road trip and return to .500

The Arizona Diamondbacks finished off a road trip on Sunday with a win over the San Diego Padres, raising the team’s record to 4-2 on the trip and 45-45 overall.

It is the first time the D-backs have hit .500 since June 21 and the second time since April 16.

The last time the Diamondbacks had a winning record was in the first week of the regular season on April 3, when the team was 4-3 after the season-opening series against the Colorado Rockies and New York Yankees.

Surpassing that mark won’t be easy, as the Atlanta Braves, current owners of the National League’s first wild-card spot, come to the Valley for a four-game series at Chase Field that begins Monday. The D-backs are two games out of the final wild-card spot.

By the numbers: D-backs’ divisional road trip ends 4-2

50 runs scored

The Diamondbacks’ 50 runs scored are the most in MLB this month by seven in six games. Several teams have played seven games and the most runs among those teams is 41.

Series by series, the D-backs outscored the Dodgers 26-13 and the Padres 24-16.

Arizona posted crooked numbers in 13 of 55 innings, including 14 runs in each of the Padres’ final innings of the series.

15 home runs

The D-backs hit 15 home runs on the road trip, more than any other team in MLB this month. Christian Walker led MLB with five homers during that stretch, allowing him to reach an MLB-best 11 RBIs.

Walker was not named to the All-Star Game, which he said is “always a goal,” when the reserves were announced Sunday, but his recent production could land him as an injury replacement for Bryce Harper, who is set to start at first base for the National League but was placed on the 10-day IL on June 28.

Corbin Carroll hit a leadoff homer against San Diego, his first homer since May 7.

After disappointing with his bat early this year, the last piece Carroll has left is power, which he found Sunday to send the fourth pitch of the game nearly 400 feet in the opposite direction.

4.70 Team ERA

The offensive production that came in droves allowed Arizona to pick up some wins despite their team ERA ranking in the top 20 through six games at 4.70. On the year, the team ERA is 4.65, second worst in MLB.

In all four wins, the D-backs started Cristian Mena, who was making his MLB debut, Zac Gallen, Brandon Pfaadt and Ryne Nelson. Mena allowed four runs before getting his first out, but overcame it to strike out nine Dodgers without allowing another run.

Neither Gallen nor Pfaadt (who left the game early due to injury) could make it into the sixth inning, giving Nelson (one earned run in 6.2 innings) the only quality start in the wins. Nelson also allowed one run in an extended outing in the loss to the Dodgers after manager Torey Lovullo used Joe Mantiply as the starter.

5 lead changes in the 9th or later

After a recent stretch of 10 games that were decided in blowout fashion, the scales tipped the other way on this road trip, with three of the games decided by two runs or less.

The difference became apparent when individual pitches dramatically changed the pace, with five lead changes in the ninth inning or later on the entire road trip. Each of the series openers (both losses) had two late lead changes and the D-backs took advantage of a late-game scenario in the opener over the Padres.

D-backs closer Paul Sewald entered the trip having not blown a save this season. He was riding a 17-game scoreless streak that came to an end when he allowed five runs in two games, recording just two outs on 35 pitches in the process.

Sewald’s second blown save was his fourth time pitching in seven days, leaving him unavailable for the Padres’ final two games.

2 minor injuries

Two key Diamondbacks players left games with injuries: All-Star second baseman Ketel Marte (lower back soreness) on Friday and starting pitcher Pfaadt (left ankle bruise) on Saturday.

Marte is expected to be in recovery status after Friday, and while Lovullo had hoped his All-Star would be available as a backup in recent games, he has not played since the injury. Lovullo said after Sunday’s game that he was “very confident” Marte would return to the lineup Monday.

Regarding Pfaadt, Lovullo is hopeful that the team has “dodged a bullet” and that the pitcher is OK.

Pfaadt has been the Diamondbacks’ most available pitcher this season, leading the team in starts (18) and quality starts (nine).