Arizona Diamondbacks: Road trip not productive, team remains positive

Jake Lamb was selected in the sixth round of the 2012 draft. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Jake Lamb was selected in the sixth round of the 2012 draft. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Arizona Diamondbacks hope for better results on their up-coming six-game home stand.

Despite finishing the latest road trip under .500, there remains a high level of optimism for the Arizona Diamondbacks. With a strong record at home and not so strong mark on the road, the Diamondbacks, it would appear, need to create some equilibrium.

Here in early June, the Diamondbacks have shown a propensity to win in the desert, but also be a less than marginal team on the road. Coming off a road trip in which the team went 5-6, including dropping the final three to the Miami Marlins in Marlins Park, the prevailing attitude does not display any mode of anxiety.

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Reliever Archie Bradley, who lost the final game of the trip, told that the belief and confidence remains a central foundation for a new culture under manager Torey Lovullo.

"The veterans on this team have got us believing the right way, and Torey and our coaches. Yeah, we’re frustrated we dropped three in a row here or whatever it was, but it’s part of it."

In the 6-5 defeat to Miami that ended the trip. Bradley gave up the game-winning single to catcher A. J. Ellis on a momentous 14-pitch at-bat in the seventh inning. That represented the third-longest plate appearance in team history. This was also the longest since Bradley engaged the Milwaukee Brewers’ Jonathan Villar on Aug. 7, 2016 also on a 14-pitch plate appearance.

Despite the less-than productive road trip, the Diamondbacks are still in an envious position. While the Colorado Rockies are in first place in the National League West Division, and the Los Angeles Dodgers one-half game behind, the Diamondbacks are a close two games out. All of which, Lovullo told, puts the Diamondbacks a decent place.

"I think we’re obviously still in a very good spot. I know the road trip we finished 5-6 and had an opportunity to do much better than that, but I think these guys will enjoy their off-day tomorrow and come out ready to play on Tuesday."

With that day off Monday and four days-off over the next three weeks, Lovullo is a position to juggle his starting rotation. Lefty Robbie Ray, whose last outing was a complete game, shut out in Pittsburgh on May 30, halted a three-game losing streak with that victory. Again this time, Ray will be ask to be “the stopper” Tuesday night at home against San Diego. That’s where the Diamondbacks have been scary and winners in 21 of 29 games in Chase Field.

The Diamondbacks open this home stand with a three-game losing streak, and look to Ray to bring his team back to life.

On deck

The Diamondbacks return to Chase Field and open that six-game home stand beginning Tuesday night with the San Diego Padres That’s when Ray (5-3, 3.00 ERA) opens this slate of games in the desert. Look for Padres’ right-hander Dinelson Lamet (2-0, 2.70) as his mound opponent.

On Wednesday night, it’s right-hander Zack Greinke (7-3, 3.06) taking on righty Luis Perdomo (0-2, 5.01). In the series finale Thursday afternoon, lefty Patrick Corbin (4-6, 5.43) opposes lefty Clayton Richard (4-6, 4.36).

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The Milwaukee Brewers, near the top of the NL Central Division all season, make their only appearance in the desert this weekend. That includes night games on Friday and Saturday and a Sunday matinee.