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Dbacks (Finally) Reach the Top of Mount .500

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It’s actually happened. Arizona is finally at an even .500 record after they defeated the Texas Rangers for the 2nd time in as many nights. It was a 7-4 victory that featured a couple of excellent offensive performances, not to mention a showing of stability from the Arizona bullpen. 1-12 has never felt so good.

Arizona decided to get things started early. The 2nd inning and with two outs, to be specific. An RBI single by Cliff Pennington followed by another RBI single by Nick Ahmed plated a couple of runs for the Dbacks. Those singles set up a three run blast by All Star A.J. Pollock. (Writing that feels amazing). By the end of the inning, Arizona was off to a 5-0 cushion of a lead.

Jul 8, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock (11) hits a three run home run during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

After Texas scored a couple runs of their own, Arizona was quick to avenge their 5 run lead. Welington Castillo‘s 7th homerun of the season (5th with Arizona) was a two run shot that made the game 7-2. Beef was hitting 5th in the lineup tonight, part of the protection for Goldy. He’s also been seeing a bulk of the playing time at catcher over Salty.

Both starters weren’t able to make it past 4 innings. It was Matt Harrison‘s 2015 debut for Texas. Harrison (0-1) surrendered 6 runs over 4 innings. Jeremy Hellickson was slowed by an apparent injury to his pitching hand and allowed 2 runs in 4 innings. It was no walk in the park for Hellickson, who couldn’t qualify for a victory. Andrew Chafin (6-0) relived Hellickson in the 5th and was credited with a victory.

Jul 8, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (58) throws during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

After the Rangers tacked on a run in the 5th and 6th inning each, the Dbacks were faced with a 7-4 lead in the late innings. Arizona would need to rely on their always entertaining bullpen if they wanted to take both games of this shortened series. A combination of Randall Delgado, Daniel Hudson and Oliver Perez were successful in handing over the game to the bottom of the 9th.

In the 9th inning, Brad Ziegler did his thing. He collected his 14th save of the season and 2nd in as many nights. It was his 13th straight scoreless appearance (13 innings). It’s been over a month since the last time Ziegler has given up a run. It’s his 5th straight appearance in which Ziegler has not allowed a base runner.

Players of the Game

A.J. Pollock: 2-for-4, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI

Welington Castillo: 2-for-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI

Nick Ahmed: 2-for-4, R, RBI

Arizona (42-42) will head to New York to take on the Mets.

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