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Sedona Red Recap: D-backs hit the All-Star break after loss to Reds

Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt is tagged out at the plate by Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 9, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Maybe the All-Star break is coming at a good time for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

True, their 53 wins are a franchise record at this point of the season. And sure, their 53-36 mark is good for the third best record in all of baseball right now.

Things are going very well. Expectations are being exceeded. Nobody’s denying any of that.

It should be noted, however, that they have dropped eight of their last 11, clearly their biggest swoon of the season. And they’ve leaned on Zack Greinke to spearhead two of those three wins for them.

Most of those losses have been close calls, and Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds in front of 24,923 at Chase Field falls into that category as well. Arizona put at least one runner on base in eight of the nine innings yet could only muster one run. Meanwhile, Patrick Corbin scattered two runs over six innings but suffered the loss anyway.

The Diamondbacks’ offense has been among the most potent in the majors this season, and it’s set up pretty well for the second half with a healthy A.J. Pollock back in the mix. But they’ve also managed to plate just one run over the last 19 innings. So yeah, that break might be coming along at just the right time.

THE GOOD

– Pollock launched his third homerun of the season into the seats next to the swimming pool in right field in the third inning.

– He also made a spectacular diving catch on a line drive off the bat of Scott Schebler in the fourth.

– Corbin has certainly struggled at times this season, but today wasn’t one of those times. He struck out nine and delivered his fourth quality start in his last five games.

– Archie Bradley came in and casually tossed two more scoreless innings.

THE BAD

–  The Reds scored what proved to be the winning run in the top of the sixth on a double to right by Schebler that looked like it might be caught. David Peralta seemed to have a good read on it, but he slipped on the outfield grass, stumbled and then just missed the ball as it got by his outstretched glove.

-Arizona had two runners thrown out at home plate — Gregor Blanco on a Pollock grounder to short in the fifth, then Paul Goldschmidt on a Chris Owings single in the sixth.

– The D-backs squandered a golden opportunity in that sixth frame, getting a single, a walk and another single to lead off the inning. And even though Goldschmidt was called out while trying to score on that second single, they still had runners on second and third with just one out anyway. Problem is, both Chris Iannetta and Ketel Marte struck out to end the rally.

STAT OF THE GAME

2: The number of times Arizona had runners thrown out at home plate on Sunday, a big deal in any game and especially one where runs were at a premium.

HE SAID IT

“You lose a 2-1 game — after being shut out the night before —  it’s something we’re not used to. One run over 18 innings, but this is a very offensive team. We will continue to be an offensive team, and I believe in us as an offensive team.” – D-backs manager Torey Lovullo

NOTED

– Cincinnati third baseman Eugenio Suarez was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the sixth inning.

– The D-backs now have a 15-9-4 record over the 28 series they’ve played this season.

– Arizona hasn’t won the final game before the All-Star break since 2012.

UP NEXT

The Diamondbacks will enter the break with a franchise-best 53 wins. And they’ll be represented well at the Midsummer Classic, with Goldschmidt, Greinke, Jake Lamb and Robbie Ray all making their way to Miami for the All-Star game on Tuesday.

Both Lamb and Ray will be making their first ever All-Star appearances. For Greinke, this will be his fourth time at the game, and it will be No. 5 for Goldschmidt.

When regular season play resumes on Friday, Arizona will be on the road for six straight games. The D-backs come out of the break with three in Atlanta, then head to Cincinnati for three more against the Reds.

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