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Home not where the wins are for D-backs

Long road trips are a part of baseball that most would
like to do without.

Sure, in the big leagues, team personnel travel on
chartered flights, stay in five-star hotels and eat in the
finest restaurants, but there’s still comfort and relief
in getting home.

The Arizona Diamondbacks returned from a three-city,
seven-game roadie to the seemingly friendly confines of
Chase Field to host the NL West-leading Los Angeles
Dodgers Monday night. But it was the Dodgers who enjoyed
their surroundings in a convincing 6-1 victory.

The home loss for the D-backs was anything but an anomaly.
Chase Field has become a house of horrors for Kirk
Gibson’s team.

Including the postseason, the Diamondbacks went 27-6 over
their last 33 games at home during the 2011 season. That
trend continued during this season’s opening weekend, when
Arizona swept the San Francisco Giants in a three-game

But it’s fallen apart since then, as Kirk Gibson’s team
has gone 4-13 in its last 17 home dates. They’re 1-8 in
their last 9.

The numbers during the nine-game stretch are just ugly.
Arizona has been outscored 59-27. They’ve been outhomered
16-5. The D-backs are hitting just .232 as a team and
averaging 3.0 runs per game.

The pitching numbers have been worse. Arizona hurlers
have compiled a 6.11 ERA and if you take out a solid
pitching performance by Patrick Corbin, Bryan Shaw and
David Hernandez against San Francisco on May 11 (the
Diamondbacks’ one home win in this stretch), that number
balloons to 6.75.

With the loss Monday night, the Diamondbacks’ deficit grew
to 10.5 games. Despite constant comparisons between this
year’s team and last year’s that won the National League
West, the 2011 D-backs never trailed by more than 6.5

“We’ve just got to start playing better and doing things
better in this clubhouse before we start worrying about
somebody else” shortstop Willie Bloomquist said Monday.
“We’re capable, we’ve just got to get on a roll.”

That roll may as well start now against Los Angeles, a
team that appeared vulnerable when star center fielder
Matt Kemp was placed in the disabled list last week. But
without their All-Star, Don Mattingly’s club has gone 6-2
and has won five straight.

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