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A.J. Pollock’s bat leads the way for the D-backs this season

Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock (11) rounds the bases after celebrating his home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers with third base coach Tony Perezchica (8) during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
LISTEN: AJ Pollock, D-backs Outfielder

PHOENIX – Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock had a career game at the plate on Monday, hitting three solo home runs at Chase Field off of three different pitchers in an 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Pollock followed that up with an encore on Tuesday by hitting yet another solo home run in his first plate appearance against the Dodgers, making it four home runs in six at bats.

“I think there are stretches throughout the year when you see the ball well, and there are stretches when you don’t. I see the ball pretty well right now,” said Pollock after Monday’s win.

Since Sept. 13, 2017, Pollock has 15 home runs, which leads the National League. He is currently tied with the Colorado Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon for the most home runs in the NL this season with 10, he’s first in the NL in slugging percentage (.689) and on-base plus slugging (1.045), and is third in the league with 25 RBI. He’s also tied for first in WAR in the NL with Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman at 1.7.

Pollock, who earned the National League Player of the Month honor for April on Wednesday, credited his preparation with D-backs staff for the recent power surge.

“A lot of hard work I’ve been putting in with some pretty good minds,” he said. “That, along with good game planning, good corrections when I need to.

“I think when you catch something a little bit off early, it helps, and I got some pretty amazing people here who keep me in check and keep me accountable.”

The D-backs as a team haven’t been as good offensively as their record would indicate. Prior to Tuesday’s game, the team batting average of .235 ranks 21st in MLB.

Pollock’s production has been a driving force behind the D-backs’ success in April.

His nine home runs and 22 RBI were both career highs for offensive output in a month, and he closed April with his first career three-home run game. He is the 12th player in franchise history to hit three or more dingers in a game.

Pollock has been especially effective against the Dodgers.

In eight games against Los Angeles this season, Pollock has three doubles, six home runs and nine RBI. The D-backs are currently 7-1 against their NL West rival, and Pollock’s offensive contributions in those games are a big reason why Arizona has dominated the matchup so far this season.

“There’s a little luck involved when you play certain teams thought out the season,  too. Some teams are on a downslope, or some teams are on a upswing and you catch a real hot team, but you just want to play good baseball,” said Pollock of the team’s recent success against L.A.

“If you can maintain close games and keep it tight and don’t let games gets out of hand, you may have a good chance to steal some wins,” he added. “I think we’ve kind of done that this year, and that’s not luck. That’s keeping us in games, getting some clutch hits, and I just think we’ve been playing some good baseball.”

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