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Diamondbacks climb mountain, may have turned the corner

The TV broadcasters referred to it as “Mount .500.”

An even record. As many wins as losses. The epitome of
mediocrity.

And, for the 2012 Arizona Diamondbacks, an achievement
worth
talking about.

Sunday’s 4-3 win over the A’s was the team’s fifth in a
row, and
seventh in its last eight games. The five-game mark is a
season-
high, and the record is even for the first time since May
5.

“Well we’ve kind of got back on track,” D-backs skipper
Kirk
Gibson said after the game Sunday. “We were at a point
where I
think some questioned where we were headed, so that’s a
good
sign for us.”

The D-backs’ offense is starting to come alive, due in
large
part to the streaks sluggers Paul Goldschmidt and Jason
Kubel
are on. The first baseman is riding a 17-game hitting
streak,
while the left fielder has batted .571 with two home runs
and 12
RBI in his last four games.

“We’ve just been doing a lot of things right,” Goldschmidt
said
Sunday. “Some big hits, two out RBIs, good pitching, good
defense.

“That’s kind of what it takes, so hopefully we can keep it
going.”

It won’t be easy.

The D-backs’ schedule gets a little tougher now, as
consecutive series
with the
struggling Padres, Rockies
and A’s
will be followed by trips to Texas to face the Rangers and
Los Angeles to battle the Angels.

Both are considered to be American League contenders, and
each
will present a challenge for the resurgent Diamondbacks.

But that’s for another day (Tuesday, to be exact). For
now, the
reigning NL West champs can feel good about themselves —
at
least, as good as a third-place team can feel. Though they
are
still 8.5 games back of division-leading Los Angeles,
there is
hope that the season has been turned around and good
things are
coming.

“What we were lacking earlier was just kind of falling
short and
kind of on the little things,” Sunday’s starting pitcher
Joe
Saunders said. “I think now we kind of turned the page on
that
and we’re starting to do the little things right, and
executing
and doing what we need to do.”

Arizona Sports’ Craig Grialou contributed to this
report