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As manager Kirk Gibson walked into the press interview room at Chase Field for his pregame session with reporters, he looked around the room.

"It's been awhile since we've been here, huh?"

Twelve days to be exact.

"It's definitely been awhile," Cliff Pennington said. "It feels like we've been on the road the entire month. It's going to be nice to come home, get a little home-cookin' and play in front of our fans. It's a little more comfortable at home.

"We're excited to be back."

Thursday's 5-hour and 46-minute, 15-inning marathon in New York not only completed a season-long tying 10-game road trip but ended a stretch in which the Diamondbacks played 24 of 33 games on the road.

The D-backs, who actually increased their lead in the National League West from 1 to 2 games despite all the recent travel, will more than make up for their time on the road.

The schedule shifts now in their favor with 17 of their next 20 and 25 of their next 33 games at home.

"To know we're going to be here virtually all of July, play on our field, be able to be at home, not have to fly all around and be in an environment that we're used to, it's uplifting," Gibson said.

"It's not like we're uncomfortable on the road; but again, you're checking in, you're checking out. Any little nuances that there is to know we would know it better (at Chase Field) than any other team."

Gibson's squad played just eight home games in June; and entering Friday, had played the fewest home games of any team in Major League Baseball (37, tied with Philadelphia).

The suitcases can be put away for a good while.

"We've got a big homestand," Eric Chavez said referring to the 10 straight home games before the All-Star break. "We'd like to be playing well before we go into that break and position ourselves to make a good run in the second half."

Craig Grialou, Reporter

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