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D-backs hoping to avoid dubious history Thursday against St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals' Kolten Wong, foreground, is greeted by teammates after scoring against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

There was a lot of optimism about the Arizona Diamondbacks just three short days ago.

The D-backs were returning home from a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds, they had a winning record for the first time since April 22 and they were within five games of the National League West lead as they started a seven-game homestand at Chase Field.

Unfortunately, that homestand began with a four-day visit from the best team in baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Redbirds (81-45) have won the first three games of the series, including Wednesday night’s 3-1 win over the D-backs. The Snakes have again fallen two games under .500 and now trail the division-leading Dodgers by 7.5 games.

Including a three-game sweep over Arizona in late May, the Cardinals are 6-0 against the boys in Sedona Red this season. A St. Louis victory Thursday would be a bit of dubious D-backs’ history.

Only once since their inception in 1998 have the Diamondbacks gone winless in a season against a National League foe. The woeful 2004 D-backs, who finished with a franchise-worst 51-111 record, went 0-6 against the Montreal Expos, getting outscored 33-12 in the process. This year’s efforts against the Cardinals have been a little less one-sided. St. Louis has outscored Arizona 30-14 in the first six contests.

That’s not exactly the type of history this year’s team wants to be repeating.

The good news for Arizona is that 11-game winner Rubby De La Rosa will be on the hill in the series finale against St. Louis’ Carlos Martinez (12-6). De La Rosa has won his last five decisions. The right-hander did not pitch against the Cardinals in the first series between the teams at Busch Stadium.

The finale of the series gets underway at 6:40 p.m. in downtown Phoenix. You can hear the contest on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, beginning with pregame coverage at 6:00.

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