Arizona Diamondbacks: Confidence rises with seven-game winning streak

Gregor Blanco is a main reason for the current seven-game winning streak. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
Gregor Blanco is a main reason for the current seven-game winning streak. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Arizona Diamondbacks have shown resiliency in gaining several come-from-behind victories.

Maybe these comeback wins from the Arizona Diamondbacks should not surprise any longer. Perhaps this team reached the portion of the schedule where their mettle has been tested and, going forward, the Diamondbacks learned how to win and survive.

In stretching their current winning streak to seven, and the longest in six years, the Diamondbacks came-from-behind to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-4 in 10 innings Sunday. With the win, their current record of 44-27 is the best start for the opening 71 games in franchise history.

How about more numbers. Arizona is now on a five-game road winning streak. At the same time, the club extended their win streak in Citizens Bank Park to seven games, a team mark.

All of which should not surprise a listener in the company of manager Torey Lovullo this season. Since the championship schedule began in early April and the Diamondbacks have shown a penchant for winning close games and gaining wins coming-from-behind, the key word for Lovullo and echoed by his players is, “trust.” That translates into confidence and then into assurance.

After Sunday’s win was generated by Rey Fuentes’ first major league home run in the 10th off of Phillies’ reliever Jeannar Gomez, Lovullo told the Associated Press that another characteristic of a winning team continues to shine. That was detected Sunday and, to this point, present throughout the season.

"They were resilient (Sunday). We had a couple tough moments today and these guys didn’t let that affect them. I said from the beginning, overcoming tough moments, cycling it through and then coming out the other end is something that winning teams do and we do that very well."

With eight games on the current trip, the Diamondbacks took two games in Detroit and swept the Phillies in three. Now, a rather formidable task awaits.

The club moves into Denver and three with the National League West Division-leading Colorado Rockies. Both the Diamondbacks and Rockies are, arguably, the two surprise teams in the majors for 2017, and combine, they are 38 games above the .500 mark. The teams are even in the loss column and the Rockies have won two more games.

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Regarding Colorado, the Rockies have the most wins in franchise history and the best winning percentage through 72 games (previous best was 40-31, a .563 percentage, in 2000). As well, the Rockies, with a one-game lead in the NL West, have not been in first this late in a season since 2006.

The pitching match-ups

In the series opener Tuesday night, right-hander Zack Greinke (8-3, 3.00 ERA) opposes Rox righty German Marquez (5-4, 4.19). On Wednesday night, look for righty Taijuan Walker (5-3, 3.32) to make his second start since coming off the DL with a blister on his pitching hand. He’ll draw right-hander Jeff Hoffman (4-0, 2.25) as his mound opponent.

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In the series finale Thursday afternoon, Lovullo has not named a starter. Rox manager Bud Black will send righty Antonio Senatela (9-2, 4.10) to the hill. This was supposed to be lefty Patrick Corbin’s turn, but the Diamondbacks do not want Corbin pitching against Colorado in this series and on the road. Instead, Corbin will open a 10-game home stand Friday night against the Phillies.